Lagos-based political activist/social critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri has advised the Buhari administration to as a matter of urgency, cut government spending and reduce the National Assembly members salaries and other emoluments by half in view of the economic situation in the country.
He gave this advice in a statement in Lagos yesterday, saying that the situation where 99 percent of the country’s earnings are used for debt servicing is hurting the economy and the people.
“Nigerians should not be deceived that the consistent external borrowing inspite of warnings by Nigerians against it, will improve the lots of the poor masses of the country, he warned.
Onitiri noted that since 2019, the Buhari regime has borrowed three times big chunks of money which had never been explained to Nigerians and for which we are yet to see the purpose.
“The borrowing has never improved the lots of the people. Even the insecurity has degenerated further, he lamented.
He noted that more lives and properties are lost daily to the bandits. Our persistent calls that the security chiefs be sacked had fallen on deaf ears.
“Our National Assembly are also eager to approve foreign loan applications of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The APC Government has been treating the people of Nigeria with impunity and without any atom of respect.
“Our debt servicing ratio to our revenue is over 99percent. This calls for serious caution by the government and our politicians to tread softly and listen to the voice of reason.
“What the government should do now, is to look inwards to generate more revenue by diversifying our economy, instead of mono economy and depending on oil revenues only. The government should harness our solid mineral resources which are being tapped and carted away by illegal immigrants.
“The government should also develop our abundant human resources, instead of leaving our youths to migrate illegally to foreign countries”,Chief Onitiri further suggested.
Onitiri noted that from the look of things, Nigeria is on the brink of economic collapse with our debt profile hovering over $33.6B as against our total foreign exchange reserves at $36B. This is extremely worrisome.
“The non-creative practice of borrowing to finance our recurrent expenditures does not portray managers of our economy in good light as this is setting the nation on a long term economic chaos.
“There is still widespread unemployment, poor educational system, high poverty levels amongst the population, very poor infrastructures and poor healthcare facilities.
“For the nation to stop the gradual descent into economic bankruptcy in few years time, the first important thing to do is to stop borrowing and then take a critical stock of the country’s debt profile. The nation’s capacity to service and pay the debts should take high precedence, Chief Onitiri added.