One of Nigeria’s top lawyers, Afe Babalola, has tasked the incoming administration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s with addressing the debt profile of Nigeria.
Babalola added that a large portion of the nation’s resources was going towards paying off debts, so cancellation would help Nigeria get rid of its enormous international loans.
The eminent lawyer addressed the audience on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti on the sidelines of a lecture by Professor Bamidele Adebisi, professor of intelligent infrastructure systems, titled “Smart Infrastructure: Catalyst for Sustainable Development.”
Babalola expressed regret that the debt Nigeria incurred was not directed effectively but rather was spent on dubious causes while bemoaning the current situation of the country’s debt profile.
He blamed the soaring debt profile on a lack of restraint and ineffective government spending, encouraging the incoming administration to implement reforms that would lower the cost of governance and lessen the fiscal burden.
He claimed that the nation’s debt could jeopardise Tinubu’s chances of bringing about the needed changes that Nigerians have been clamouring for non-stop.
Afe advised the President-elect to follow the example of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who spent the first two years of his government travelling the world to ask the country’s lenders for the pardoning of its debt.
“Today, we are the worst debtors in the world. We owe trillions of dollars. We are borrowing more even when the current government says to go. We learned that our incoming president has gone to look for those who are coming to invest here. Have you ever heard of any man who is stupid enough to invest in a bankrupt country? They will never do so.
“What I expect the incoming president of Nigeria to do is learn from Obasanjo, who spent the first two years of his administration going round and round to beg for forgiveness of our debt. Nobody is coming to invest here when you can’t even pay the interest due on the huge debt that we owe,” Babalola added.
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