By Chinwendu Obienyi
Former vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, has said that mismanagement of funds as well as borrowing for consumption have been the major contributors to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Obi, in a series of tweets on Thursday, said Nigeria is spending 90 per cent of its revenue in servicing debts because the funds borrowed are mismanaged.
The tweets read: “Our past and continued mismanagement of borrowed funds and borrowing for consumption are the major contributors to the monumental economic challenges confronting Nigeria today. Today, we are spending 90 per cent of our revenue servicing debts because, ironically, our borrowed funds were mismanaged and have not been properly invested.
“If the funds borrowed were invested in critical areas of development, education, health and poverty alleviation, Nigeria would have developed far beyond what it is today”
Obi, who is also a former governor of Anambra State, has repeatedly criticised the Federal Government for borrowing heavily. He added in the tweets:
=“There is nothing wrong with borrowing. But what we need to do is to put a law in place that if we must borrow, it must strictly be for investment in areas of growth. Many countries have built robust economies with borrowed funds. We can do the same if only we enthrone visionary and committed leadership.”
Obi, as at last year, disclosed in an interview that Nigerian citizens are getting poorer because the government is borrowing for the wrong reasons.
He said the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could not be growing while the people were getting poorer and that the growth Nigeria needs is one that pulls people out of poverty by making the people have disposable income and be able to feed themselves.
The tweet was coming on the heels of the fourth quarter GDP report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in which Nigeria recorded 3.98 per cent.
According to the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Simon Harry, who made this known to reporters in Abuja, the annual GDP growth of 2021 stands at 3.40 per cent. He added that in nominal terms, aggregate GDP stood at N49.28 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2021.
On the Q4 GDP, he said: “This figure, to an average Nigerian, may be seen lower than the 4.03 per cent growth rate recorded in Q3, 2021.
“However, analytically, it is not when viewed in terms of the base effect of the corresponding period in Q4 of 2020 when the economy recorded a GDP growth rate of 0.11 per cent as against the growth rate recorded in Q3 of the same year which was -3.62 per cent.