- A former spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, is worried about Nigeria's rising debt profile
- Frank described the trend as worrisome, calling on the National Assembly to intervene
- He also warned foreign governments to be wary of granting the Nigerian government loans
Former deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Comrade Timi Frank, has described the astronomical rise in Nigeria’s foriegn debt portfolio under the present administration as worrisome.
Frank who made the declaration on Tuesday, September 4, in a statement sent to Legit.ng, also pleaded with the Chinese and other foreign governments to be wary of granting loans to the government.
He stated that despite over 100% rise in the nation’s external debt, there is little or nothing on ground - in terms of concrete economic, social and infrastructural development to justify the huge debt already incurred by the present administration.
“If something is not done urgently to stop these huge loans, the country’s future will be in jeopardy and our children’s children will certainly turn slaves to our creditors," he warned.
He thanked the Chinese government for recently signing a $328 million ICT pact with President Muhammadu Buhari, but stated that past loans released to the country in the last three years are not being utilised for the purposes they were meant.
“Nigerians only hear of loans that the present administration has incurred in the last three years, but there is nothing on ground to show that such amounts have come into the federal coffers for development," he stated.
Frank wondered how the nation’s external debt profile skyrocketed from $10 billion in 2015, to $22.08 billion as of June 30 this year- representing a whooping 114.05%, according to statistics from the Debt Management Office (DMO). He lamented that the nation’s local debt also currently stands at N12.15 trillion.
He said: “Nigerians have not seen the proposed dividends accruable from these loans, otherwise, Nigeria would not have emerged the poverty capital of the world with over 87 million people living in extreme poverty - according to a report by the Brookings Institution on the World Poverty Clock recently.”
Frank urged the National Assembly to stop approving foreign loan requests by President Buhari, while calling on the Chinese and other world governments and international financial institutions to desist from granting loans to the Buhari’s administration.
He called on the lawmakers to probe where and how the over $11 billion external loans granted to Buhari’s administration in the last three years have been or are being utilised.
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“This is not the way Buhari met Nigeria and he must not be allowed to worsen the economic condition of the country further, having failed to improve it. The National Assembly owes the country a duty to stop approving incessant foreign loan requests by Buhari.
“The world also owes Nigeria a duty to stop granting these loans because they are not being utilized for the welfare of the people," he stated.
Comrade Frank recently raised an alarm over an alleged plot to rope in Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in the recent National Assembly invasion by masked men of the Directorate of State Security (DSS).
He made the claims in a statement sent to journalists on Friday, August 10, accusing the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the ruling All Progressives Congress of plotting to blame the failed siege on the National Assembly on Saraki and subsequently charge him with treason.