‘Nigeria is not poor because she is not making enough money. The truth is that Nigeria is poor because she is not making the right leadership decisions.’These were the views of the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar recently. This statement reminds one of what he said in 2019, during the Founder’s Day lecture at the American University of Nigeria. He said in his speech, that Nigeria had taken almost as much foreign debt in the last three years, as she had taken in the thirty years before 2015 combined. Atiku talked about the fact that Nigeria currently budgets more money for debt servicing (₦2.7 trillion), than we do on capital expenditure (₦2.4 trillion) and concludes that it is already an indicator that we have borrowed more money than we can afford to borrow. According to him, the thing is that debt servicing is not debt repayment. As a successful businessman, Atiku Abubakar explained that Debt servicing just means we are paying the barest minimum allowable by our creditors.
Talking about the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, he said, rather than turn in regular losses (which it has consistently been doing), the best thing to do is to reform it. He used the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas company, a joint venture between the Nigeria government and the private sector, and Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO-the most profitable company in the world- who sold their shares and raised $29.4 billion as a reference, saying the Federal Government could raise the $29.6 billion the Buhari regime wants to borrow, and we will raise the money without going into debt.
He also urged the government to restore confidence in Nigeria’s economy and for the masses, it is time to make the right leadership decision today and choose a knowledgeable leader for a better Nigeria.