Utomi blames ‘leadership failure’ for Nigeria’s woes
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has written Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, urging the National Assembly to reject new loan requests tied to projects that would not generate income.
He stated in the letter, dated August 19, a copy of which was seen by The Guardian yesterday, that the federal lawmakers “should not sit back and watch the nation teeter towards financial peril.”
The Wazirin Adamawa submitted: “Nigeria risks insolvency if it continues to borrow money, as previous loans were spent on non-viable projects.”
As of March 2020, the nation’s debt profile stood at $79.3 billion (N28.6 trillion), out of which $27.6 billion (about N10 trillion) was external liability, the Debt Management Office (DMO) had disclosed.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2019 general elections went on: “On May 29, 2015, Nigeria’s total national debt stood approximately at N12 trillion. As of August 2020, our national debt has tripled to N28.63 trillion.
“Even more alarming is the fact that the foreign debt portion of our national debt has risen from less than $10 billion on May 29, 2015 to almost $30 billion in August 2020.
“A further cause for concern is the fact that not all of these debts are necessary. A study of the use to which these monies have been put to, will show that much of them had gone for items or projects that were non-productive.”
He pleaded with the two hallowed chambers to “check the excesses of other arms of government.”
The parliamentarians have so far approved all three loan proposals from President Muhammadu Buhari.
In June this year, a $5.513 billion foreign loan was sanctioned by the legislators barely a week after they okayed a $22.7 billion facility.
The approval was preceded by a ₦850 billion credit to be sourced from the domestic markets.
IN a related development, Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, has blamed the “failure of the political class” for the nation’s precarious economy and pitiable situation.
During a live programme, the activist regretted the leadership ‘deficit’ “in every aspect of the society.”
According to him, the “government has not been able to proffer solutions to the country’s challenges, thereby making it difficult for citizens to be committed to the system.”
He added: “I think that the government is crippled; it is not connecting to the solution. If there is anything absent in Nigeria, it is leadership. At every level of our society, there is a failure of leadership.
“Leadership is about connecting to the soul of the people, and giving everything sacrificially to lift it up.”
Utomi reiterated that the “failure of the political class led to the formation of the National Consultative Forum”, a group he co-chairs with House of Representatives ex-Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Abba.
He said the new movement would drive “reforms” in the most populous black nation.