Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has warned of an impending bankruptcy which he ascribed to the rate of borrowing by the country.
While speaking at the “Why I am Alive” campaign celebration in Lagos on Friday, Obasanjo said, "we are borrowing to service what we have borrowed and yet we are borrowing more."
He revealed that the current budget out of which Nigeria spends 25 per cent to service debt “is not the country’s total earning; a lot of it was also borrowed" and buttressed that saying “such a situation talks about impending bankruptcy.”
He insisted that “no entity can survive while devoting 50 per cent of its revenue to debt servicing.”
At the event which is designed to empower young Nigerians, the former president said, “I do not need the brain of any genius to conclude that those who use statistics to dig us deeper into debt are our enemies: statistics can be used to serve any purpose, and that is why Winston Churchill talked of lies, damn lies and statistics, meaning statistics can be made master of lies.”
He further explained that Nigeria’s external debt grew by as much as 700 per cent to N24.947 trillion ($81 billion), from $10.32 billion in just four years (2015). This implies that the country would have to commit half of its foreign earnings to servicing its current level of debt.
While calling for national dialogue or debate on Nigeria’s short, medium and long-term plans as a nation, Obasanjo said his biggest worry was that, with the scale of debts the country was walking into, “there are already fiscal challenges to meet(ing) our obligations.”