Two Governors-elect and one returning governor have raised the alarm over the rising debt in the country .
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi ; the Plateau governor-elect, Caleb Mutfwang and Dikko Umar Radda, the Katsina State governor-elect expressed worry the country may go under if urgent actions are not taken to reverse the trend.
Rising from the just concluded 2023 induction programme for incoming governors and returning ones, they said that Nigeria cannot continue to borrow endlessly.
Governor Mohammed in his remarks, lamented that the Nigeria’s debt servicing requirement is about 95% of the revenue, warning that the country is going to go under unless something is done
Mohammed wondered why the World Bank did not raise the red flag to the managers of the country’s economy when the debts were getting beyond the threshold.
“Honestly, you heard me ask a question. I wonder what the World Bank is doing. Apart from giving us grants, assistance in SFTAS and of course loans they should be able to raise a red flag, they should be able to tell the managers of our economy that we cannot continue to borrow endlessly.
“Our debt servicing requirement is about 95% of the revenue. And so the states are affected by this macro-economic reality. The oil proceeds are not been shared. And we’re here celebrating success, what success? We are going to go under unless we do something inward to really correct our own perception, our own notions and our own approaches to the management of the economy of the country.
“It is a monolithic economy. And yet even where we are getting money, we have taken so much up front, the federation has to be looked at as a structure because states have to have a say in the management of the economy”, stated the Bauchi state governor.
On his part, Mutfwang, while corroborating Mohammed on the need to reverse the country’s debt situation, stated that there is need for collaboration between federal and state governments in order to come up with the right policies to reverse the situation.
Mutfwang noted that the way to go is to look for ways and means of creating wealth as a nation so that more Nigerians would come out of poverty.
“This is both a national and sub-national issue. We at the sub-national level will be collaborating with the Federal Government, as members of the National Economic Council to come up with the right policies that we’ll be able to reverse our debt situation. And of course, reversing debt is not rocket science, you have to create wealth, you have to add more money to be able to pay your debts. So we must look at ways and means of creating wealth as a nation.
“For us back on the Plateau. Of course, we’ll be looking at how to be able to boost our economy, diversify our economy, and ensure that there is effectiveness in all the productive sectors of our lives. And at the end of the day, the bottom line, is that our people must come out of poverty and begin to create wealth, so that we can be able to pay more taxes, improve our internally generated revenue (IGR). And then from there, we can be able to reduce our debts”, he said.
Radda, said as soon as he is sworn in, there would be a comprehension assessment of the debt profile with a view to restructuring it in order to meet the obligations for the people of the state.
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