Bankruptcy looms for Nigeria, says Obasanjo

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Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has warned that given the way the President Muhammadu Buhari government is accumulating debts, the country risks impending bankruptcy.

The former president who spoke on Friday in Lagos while delivering his keynote speech at the “Why I am Alive” campaign, noted that, economically, things might get worse for Nigeria and other countries of Africa that are pilling up debts.

According to him, the future looks worrisome.

Presenting his speech, titled ‘Nigeria: The challenges of debt and sustenance of democracy, Obasanjo said as at 2015, Nigeria’s total external debt was about $10.32 billion, but by March 2019, the country’s external debt had increased to $81.274bn.

He pointed out that that to service this current level of indebtedness, Nigeria must commit at least 50 per cent of its foreign earnings.

“Such a situation talks about an impending bankruptcy. No entity can survive while devoting 50 per cent of its revenue to debt servicing,” he said.

“It has recently been pointed out that in 2018 that total debt servicing took over 60 per cent of government revenue. What’s more, we are not doing enough to address the fundamental, deep-seated and structural challenges that inhibit the expansion of our economy,” the ex-President added.

Obasanjo regretted that as bad as things are, the Buhari government is currently seeking to add another $29.6bn loan to “our already overburdened debt portfolio.”

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