Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has decried Nigeria’s debt burden, saying the country is spending more on debt servicing this year than its combined budget for education and youth development.
In a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, on Thursday, Mr Abubakar referenced the 2019 first quarter statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
He criticised the Buhari administration for the country’s growing debt.
“The National Bureau of Statistics has released Q1 statistics which revealed that in the first quarter of 2019 (January to March), General Buhari’s regime spent a whopping ₦610.2 billion on debt servicing for domestic debts. Note that these monies were spent on servicing (paying interest) debt, not in repaying debt,” the statement said.
Mr Abubakar, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 presidential election, said the debt servicing is having an adverse effect on the country’s development.
“What Nigeria has spent on servicing domestic debts, so far, is more than the combined entire budget for education and youth development for the whole of 2019,” he said.
“How did this happen? How could an administration double our national debt from ₦12 trillion in 2015 to ₦24.9 trillion today and still have no tangible evidence of development to show for it?”
He said N2.5 trillion was projected to be spent on debt servicing before the end of 2019, noting that the “figure is more than our capital budget.”
He said: “The deeper we go into unsustainable debt, the more of her independence Nigeria loses to her creditors. The older generation should sacrifice for the youth.
“We must not be a vampire generation that squanders the financial lifeblood of Nigeria and bequeath financial bondage to the next generation.”
Last week, PREMIUM TIMES reported Mr Abubakar criticising the administration for Nigeria’s “unsustainable debt”, which he acknowledged was one the lapses of previous PDP-led administrations. He however argued that the situation was not this bad.