Servicing Nigeria’s External Debt With 90% Of Our Revenue A Path To Destruction — Tinubu

 

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Sunday, disclosed that servicing Nigeria’s external debt with 90 percent of the country’s revenue is unsustainable.

Tinubu made the comment in Abuja while declaring open the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) themed, ‘Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation-Building,’ which had over 16,000 lawyers in attendance

Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG), on May 19, 2023 projected that Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio may exceed 100 percent this year.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) later pegged the figure at 73.5 percent, describing it as unsustainable and a threat.

Prior to these projections, Nigeria had spent 80.6 percent of its revenue on debts serving with the hope that it would plunge to 60 percent this year.

At the conference, the president described the high debt service-to-revenue ratio as “a path to destruction.”

According to him, the prosperity Nigerians require will only occur once the society is rid of poverty — with the cooperation of the country’s private sector leaders.

“Can we continue to service external debts with 90% of our revenue? It is a path to destruction. It is not sustainable.

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“We must make the very difficult changes that are necessary for our country to get up from slumber and be respected among the great nations of the world.

“We cannot have the country we desire without the reforms we have initiated. It is painful at the beginning, in the short and medium term, but we must do what we have to do to take this nation to its great destiny. It is not about you and it is not about me. It is about our generations yet unborn, for whom we must bequeath a great and prosperous country,” Ajuri Ngelale, the president’s media aide, quoted Tinubu as saying in a statement.

Tinubu also gave assurances of his commitment to dealing with the issue of remuneration for judicial officers and legal practitioners, stating that “true justice reform must begin with world-class salaries and benefits for legal professionals in Nigeria”.

He said Nigerians complain a lot about the past instead of changing their attitude and working with determination.

“You are learned. I want to learn. Why are we so blessed and we are still lacking? We must have a change of attitude and a change of our mindset. We accuse our nation and its previous leaders. We complain a lot of the past. Is that the solution? No! Let us look forward and be determined!” the president said.