- Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party said that Nigeria is on the verge of defaulting on its debt servicing
- Obi who was speaking on a television programme said instead of proffering solutions to Nigeria's economic woes, politicians are playing the ethnic card
- Nigeria's debt stock has risen by N2.04 trillion in the first quarter of 2022 to hit N41.5 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO)
Nigeria is in a dire strait and needs an economically-savvy leader to salvage it from the doldrums, according to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
In an interview on Arise Television Morning Show on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, which was monitored by Legit.ng, Obi took a swipe at Nigeria’s political class whom he says plays the ethnic card instead of focusing on rescuing the country’s economy.
Nigeria's economy can barely survive
Obi said that Nigeria and its economy are in a coma and only barely survive.
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According to him, the country will soon default on its debt servicing due to myriads of economic woes in the country.
“We choose to vote for incompetence based on a primitive consideration of ethnicity and religion. Tell me, today, you can’t travel from Abuja to Kaduna by air, by road, or by train. Is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge? You can’t travel from Abuja to Minna by road, is it because somebody from the South-East is in charge?
"Yesterday, we had an attack on the presidential convoy in Katsina, is it because a person from the South-East is in charge? Show me where you can buy food cheaper.”
“You have not talked about electricity, or people are prospering in the North because northerners are in power? In the South-West, because they are in power or in the South-East.”
“We have a huge problem and if you don’t know, this country will soon default on their debt servicing.”
Debt stock soars
Obi was speaking amid reports by the Debt Management Office that Nigeria’s debt profile has hit N41.6 trillion, having risen by N2.04 trillion in the first quarter of 2022, according to reports.
The DMO said with the increase in the country’s debt profile, its total public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) now stands at 23.27 per cent, as against 22.43 per cent on December 31, 2021, ThisDay report said.
The DMO, in a statement posted on its website, explained that the amount represented the domestic and external debt stocks of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory. The comparative figures for December 31, 2021, were N39.56 trillion or $95.78 billion.”
Peter Obi is seen as a top contender for the Nigerian presidency in 2023 and is gaining popularity among young Nigerians popularly called obedience, a BBC report said.
Nigeria spends N896.56 billion on debt servicing in 3 months
Legit.ng reported that in three months, the Nigerian government has spent a whopping N896.56 billion on debt servicing, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).
This has led the country to spend N3.83 trillion on debt repayments in 15 months, a DMO data says.
The Punch reports a total of N2.93 trillion was spent on servicing debt in 2021, meaning a 109 per cent increase in comparison to 2022.