Nigeria’s borrowing may hit N150trn by end of 2024, Obi warns

Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023, poll, Mr. Peter Obi has warned that the country’s borrowing may hit N150 trillion by the end of the year, if the current trend was not checked.

He noted that the first quarter government’s borrowing, reaching N121.86 trillion was alarming and with the borrowed funds used for consumption or misallocated, the country risks worsening economic situation and perpetuating a cycle of debt.

Obi on his X on Monday, said: “I have consistently maintained that borrowing is not inherently problematic, as long as it is utilized for productive purposes that drive economic growth and development.

“The recent report at the end of the first quarter indicates a significant increase in our government’s borrowing, reaching a staggering N121.86 trillion.

“This rapid accumulation of debt is alarming, and if this borrowing trend continues at the current rate, we can expect the total to surpass N150 trillion by the end of the year.

“The fact that several trillions was borrowed in just three months highlights the urgent need for prudent management of our finances. It is crucial to recognize that the purpose of borrowing is paramount.

“If the borrowed funds are used for consumption or misallocated, we risk worsening our economic situation, perpetuating a cycle of debt and hindering our ability to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.

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“On the other hand, if the funds are channelled into productive endeavours such as infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship, we can expect positive outcomes that benefit our economy and citizens in the long run.

“As I recall, the law governing borrowing is explicit, requiring detailed explanations of the intended use, timing, and other relevant parameters.

“It is essential to ensure that borrowed funds are allocated efficiently and effectively to drive economic growth, create jobs, and improve the standard of living of the majority of our citizens.

“I respectfully request same for accountability for the massive borrowings, which have burdened our nation’s future.

“For the sake of our children and unborn generations, transparency and good governance, a detailed breakdown of how these funds have been utilized and demonstrate their tangible impact on our country’s growth and development should be provided.

“In conclusion, I urge policy makers and stakeholders to exercise caution and prudence in managing our national debt, ensuring that borrowing is utilized for productive purposes that benefit our economy and citizens.

“By doing so, we can promote sustainable economic growth, development, and prosperity for all Nigerians for generations to come.

“Our future stability and prosperity depends on prudent management of resources,” he added.

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