Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Mr Peter Obi, on Tuesday lamented that Nigeria has a $90bn (N28tr.) debt portfolio with nothing to show for it.
Obi made the disclosure while speaking in Lagos as the guest speaker on the theme: ‘Re-designing the Nigerian Economy with New Ideas,’ on The Platform, a programme of The Covenant Christian Centre.
This was just as he equally disclosed that Nigeria, in 2017 spent over N1,6tr to service debt and a total of N2.9 to service debt in 2018, adding: “Yet, there was nothing to show for it.”
Obi, who is former governor of Anambra State, said while other nations borrowed to embark on developmental projects, Nigeria borrowed to consume, contending that such situation made growth impossible, just as he pointedly noted that “the problem is not about debt, but what you use your money to do.”
According to the former governor, more people now live in extreme poverty in Nigeria than both China and India, the nation’s with the highest populations in the world combined, declaring that 98 million people in the country now live in extreme poverty, indicating a growth of over 5per cent annually.
“Nigeria is home to the highest number of poor people living in extreme poverty in the world. Nigeria now has more people living in extreme poverty than any other country in the world. Every minute, six Nigerians fall into extreme poverty,” he disclosed.
Obi warned that the country is like a keg of gunpowder on the verge of exploding with over 22 million young people in their productive years unemployed, adding: “It is worrisome.”
Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who also spoke at the forum, appealed to residents for patience over the poor state of roads in Lagos, attributing the condition to the continuous rainfall since he was sworn-in about four months ago, which he said had been slowing down rehabilitation/palliative work on the affected roads.
Sanwo-Olu promised that there would be extensive and massive rehabilitation of roads after the raining seasons, but added that all the roads cannot be fixed at the same time