Babalola decries Nigeria’s impending N77 trillion debt
A retired Deputy Director of the now-defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, Engineer Sunday Adebayo Babalola, has decried that Nigeria’s total debt stock may hit N77 trillion by the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on May 29, 2023.
He noted that the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, recently said that Nigeria’s total debt stock may hit N77 trillion by the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on May 29, 2023, if the current Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Ways & Means, which has been accumulated from 2014 to 2022 and put at about N22.7 trillion is securitized, coupled with the N44.06 trillion total debt stock as at third quarter of 2022 (Q3 2022) and the N8 trillion new borrowings.
In an interview on Wednesday, Babalolo who is a former acting Managing Director of Belemaoil Nigeria Limited said this humongous amount of debt is worrisome.
Babalola said, “It is very worrisome. It should worry everybody. Every country is owing but our own is very sad. Our naira is not strong. It is even causing more worries. The United States of America is owing about $30 trillion but they have something to back it up. They have their dollars to back it up. That is why they are fighting that another country’s money should not become the international exchange. We do not have a good economy to help us out.
“The huge debt profile will certainly affect the growth and development of the country negatively more so as those debts have no means to generate enough money and pay back. It is not good for the country.
“It will also be a major challenge the next administration will grapple with and it may affect the performance of the administration. Oh, it will certainly be a challenge for the incoming administration. However, they should look for a way out of it because, when you are competing to be the President, Governor or Local Government Chairman, you should, first of all, understand the challenges they have before you ask for the job. Once you know the challenges, you should think of how you are going to mitigate or solve and resolve most of the issues that will come up or have already come up. The challenges will be there. They are meant to be solved. So the people going there should solve those challenges and not just be the President, Governors, Local Government Chairman, Senator, House of Assembly members, State Assembly members or councillors by mouth. They should know that they are employed by the people to work for the people and not for themselves.”