The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Abubakar Atiku, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government has dressed Nigeria in borrowed robes.
Atiku, who stated this during his speech at a meeting between the private sector and presidential candidates, said: “This action calls into question the government’s ability to manage its rising debt profile without jeopardising macroeconomic stability”. He further said: “Indeed, we are concerned that this action is already exposing Nigeria to financial instability as we move from a medium risk of debt distress to a high risk of debt distress”.
Furthermore, Atiku said “for the first time in our history, the Federal Government of Nigeria paid more in debt service than it earned. By spending more than 100% of its revenue on debt service, Nigeria has breached one of the applicable debt-sustainability thresholds”.
According to him, “To reduce poverty and ensure shared prosperity, growth that creates more, better, and inclusive jobs is required. Good, inclusive jobs are the surest pathway out of poverty, according to the World Bank. Under the current administration, the number of unemployed people exceeds the combined population of Lagos State, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kwara, and Nasarawa States”.
However, when asked how he intends to address Nigeria’s debt crisis, Atiku replied that: “Economic prosperity is an integral part of my 5-point agenda, which seeks to restore Nigeria’s unity, strengthen national security, foster economic prosperity, improve education delivery, and restructure the polity; indeed, economic prosperity is the thread that runs through the other critical elements of the agenda”.