Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, has raised his voice against the growing debt profile embarked on by the Federal Government, saying such huge debts profile are capable of leading the country to its twilight.
Aare Adams lamented that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has, through huge foreign debts, mortgaged Nigeria’s future.
Speaking on Tuesday in Ibeju, Lagos during the maiden edition of Egbe Festival, organized by the Olokun Festival Foundation (OFF) the Yoruba generalissimo insisted that the Buhari administration has embarked on a borrowing spree without even thinking of how to service or repay the various loans.
He pointed out that if the existing debt is left unserviced or unpaid, it might turn out to be a big problem for successive administrations.
Adams also admitted further that borrowing is never a bad idea, but noted also that the major problem remains the reason for embarking on such loans, wondering why the Federal Government keeps borrowing without a clear-cut idea or plan for repayments of those loans.
“Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari sought another $4bn loan. But it is unfortunate that the burden of several loans embarked on by the Federal Government is hitting hard on ordinary citizens.
“The loan request, according to the Federal Government would be used for Kano-Niger Republic rail project and others. The Federal Government had also argued that the rail line, when completed, would improve trade among Nigeria, Niger and North Africa.
“But it must be stated that rather than improving the economic prosperity of the nation, the burden of the growing debt profile and the amount incurred in servicing these loans would only add to the economic woes of the ordinary citizens”,
“For instance, the Lagos- Ibadan road is a major road in the Southwest region. But sadly, the road has been under construction for the past 12 years.”
“This also applies to Lagos-Badagry road, yet the Federal Government is concerned about the Kano-Niger Republic railway, with little or no economic value. This is ridiculous because it all amounts to gross misplacement of priorities and nothing more.
“In the last six years, Nigeria under Buhari has borrowed over $45bn without a thought of the amount involved in servicing these loans. The extent of our borrowing is becoming too much a burden as there is little or nothing to show for it”. With the Federal Government’s borrowing spree, there is an urgent need for caution.
“With the attendant burden of these loans, Nigeria is in its twilight. We need not be told that the future of this country looks bleak with the amount of foreign dollars involved as loans and the burden of servicing these loans. But I hope this administration can only learn from the mistakes of the past”.
The Yoruba generalissimo also lambasted the Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed for his recent political comment, where he stated that the North has the votes and would not play second fiddle to any other part of Nigeria.
Adams said the statements only exposed the domineering agenda of the north and were capable of setting the nation on fire.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of the OPC in Ibeju, Chief Muideen Atanda, promised to sustain the ideals of the group, stressing that Egbe Festival has come to stay in the town. He maintained also that the festival had added much value to the economy of the ancient town.
“With God and the spiritual and financial support of our father and leader, the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, I can assure everybody present at this event that we shall sustain the festival annually.
” Egbe Festival has opened up the tourism potential of this town and we are happy that this maiden edition has been a huge success.”