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Nigeria’s Economy In Its Worst State with $60 Billion Huge Debt -Osinbajo

By Ayo Balogun – A week to inauguration of the new administration, the incoming ruling APC Vice President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has raised alarm over the current appalling state of the Nigerian economy, as he hinted the country is presently plunged in the first ever huge debt, estimated at $60 Billion.

Osinbajo gave the shocking hint Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of the APC two-day Policy Dialogue on the Implementation of the Agenda for Change.

According to the incoming number two citizen, the current Nigeria’s local and foreign debt stood at $60bn, while the current fiscal year (2015) debt-serving bill read N953.6bn, a figure which he added represented 21 per cent of the year’s budget.

While noting that an estimated 110 million of the nation’s over 170 million population, were living in “extreme poverty”, yet the largest percentage of the benefits of the nation’s wealth were being diverted into the few private pockets.

The pathetic situation, Professor Osinbajo lamented accounted for the country’s dwindling oil revenues, which he followed up, has made it extremely difficult for not less 24 out 36 states of the country to pay their workers’ salaries.

The Professor of Law expressed that his party was concerned that Nigeria’s economy was currently in possibly, worst moment in her history.

Osinbajo, a former Lagos State Attorney General, reiterated that on account of severely dwindled resources, more than two-thirds of the states in Nigeria were owing salaries, adding that the trend in Federal establishments were not in any way different.

Another disturbing dimension he stated was the fact that the Government kept borrowing for recurrent expenditure.

In Professor Osinbajo’s words, the APC manifesto was a better alternative to the present socio-economic misfortunes of the country, as it offered a “vision of shared prosperity and socio-economic” inclusion for all Nigerians which leaves no one behind in the “pursuit of a prosperous and fulfilling life”.

In order to achieve this set goal, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Justice pointed out that the administration would engender job-led growth through the revitalization of the agricultural sector in pursuit of job creation and food security, by improving the regulatory frameworks in the most strategic sphere of economic activity.

Former UK Prime Minister (PM), Mr. Tony Blair, at the occasion, reasoned with the painted alarming situation, the incoming administration had enormous task before it.  He asserted that the first rule of governance was for the operators to act their words as well as be “true to their mandate”.

Mr. Blair, who was represented by former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Peter Mandelson, indicated, given the experiences of the UK Labour Party, urged the incoming government not to be scared of taking hard decisions, yet cautioned it must always be mindful of the timing of such steps.

“You will have more goodwill and moral authority to do the difficult things at the beginning of your term than at the end” stating that President Widodo of Indonesia was equally elected last year July, with massive public support” former PM held.


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