By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice-President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has expressed serious concern at the country’s national debt, which he puts at 24.3 trillion by December, 2018. T
he figures released by the Debt Management Office, DMO,, however, puts the nation’s debt at N25.6 trillion as at March this year.
Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, pointed out that the debt situation in the country is now at the stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise an alarm.
The former Vice President lamented that over 50 percent of the nation’s revenue is going towards debt servicing and not even on debt repayments.
According to him, “The increasing debt profile of our dear nation, Nigeria, is becoming more than a source of concern.
“The situation is now at the stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise an alarm.
“On May 29, 2015, our national debt profile was at a very healthy 12 trillion.
“However, after four years of profligate spending, and even more irresponsible borrowing, our national debt doubled to 24.3 trillion by December, 2018.
“As alarming as this is, what is more troubling is that between December 2018 and March 2019, the administration of General Buhari added an additional and unprecedented 560 billion debt to our national debt profile.
“If you take those dates into account, they fall on the period of electioneering, when monies were freely distributed by officials of this government in the name of Tradermoni and other election gimmicks that were discontinued after the election.
“We find it inconceivable that Nigeria could have had such unprecedented borrowings in the midst of almost unimaginable sorrowing, which resulted in our nation becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the global capital of out of school children, even as we slipped in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International.
“As someone who headed the National Economic Council that paid off Nigeria’s entire debt under the visionary leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar has the moral authority to call those who are turning Nigeria into a beggar nation to halt the drift into unsustainable borrowing.
“We cannot continue to borrow to pay salaries and support luxuries.
“Already, over 50% of our revenue is going towards debt servicing, not even debt repayments.
“We raise this alarm as responsible citizens and call on other lovers of Nigeria to speak up as we have no other nation to call our home, but Nigeria”, he said.