The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has told President Muhammadu Buhari to improve on accountability and transparency amid Nigeria’s increasing debt profile.
This was contained in a statement on Monday by the CNPP Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu.
It said the continued resort to external borrowing at the slightest challenge was creating problems for the country’s future.
CNPP urged the Buhari administration to reduce the cost of governance and explore other options, including harnessing non-oil revenues, instead of borrowing.
Ezugwu recalled that Nigeria’s internal and external debt stock stood at N12.06 trillion ($63.5 billion) as of March 2015.
“But as of September 30, 2019, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria’s total public debt jumped to about N26.2 trillion (or $85.4 billion).”
The statement lamented that the Nigerian Senate, after raising an alarm about Nigeria’s situation, went ahead to approve a fresh loan.
“In March this year, the same Nigerian lawmakers approved President Buhari’s $2.36 billion loan request. In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved $3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument to Nigeria.”
The parties said they were shocked that the government, despite getting tranches of Abacha loots, is seeking a fresh $5.513 billion.
CNPP expressed worry over the Buhari administration’s revelation that debt servicing would gulp a part of the total revenue accruable to Nigeria in 2020.
“The government is now spending N2.452trn or 29% out of its N8.42trn set as revenue target in 2020 to service debts. When a country continues to borrow in the face of rapidly dwindling oil revenue, the future of Nigerians yet unborn will eventually be squandered by our generation.”
CNPP decried that in many parts of the country, foreigners are“harvesting Nigeria’s solid minerals free of charge while the federal government has continued to borrow to fund the 2020 budget”.
Aside from the slash in the cost of governance, the statement called for the blocking of leakages, farmers’ empowerment, improved internal security and provision of incentives to encourage young people to invest in farming.
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Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sent a Freedom of Information request to Buhari to provide spending details of all loans obtained by his government since May 29, 2015.
The president was given a seven days ultimatum to provide the details.