The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of plunging Nigeria into debt despite the huge revenue realized from oil and gas, custom duties and taxation.
The group, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu on Sunday, recalled that in 2006, it kicked against doling out a $12.4 billion to pay debt owed the Paris and London Clubs, but that the then Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who incidentally occupies the same position presently, said the country had come out of debt trap.
CNPP lamented that only a few years after, the present administration is returning the country into debt trap despite the huge revenue it gets from various sources.
“CNPP is outrage that President Goodluck Jonathan regime is rapidly rail-loading Nigeria back into debt trap in spite of the unprecedented oil and gas, Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS tax, Customs Duty revenues, decked with Excess Crude Account,” the statement said.
“When in 2006 Nigeria doled out $12.4 billion, which could have been used to provide electricity, to pay the odious Paris and London Clubs loan, though it rejected it, the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria was out of debt trap.
“We pointed out that the loans she paid for were fraudulent loans obtained through corrupt and unjust methods by unconscionable civilian regime, military dictatorship, unconscionable in the sense that 75% of the 63 projects upon which the loans were borrowed failed.”
“CNPP once more alerts the nation that instead of stemming the pervasive, endemic and monumental corruption going on in the administration, the same minister who promised that we are out of debt trap will with the present $9 billion loan approved by the National Assembly and the National Economic Council hit $20 billion external Debt and N6 trillion domestic Debt before the end of 2014.
The group alleged Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s economic policies may fit into the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s round peg, but not that of Nigeria, wondering why 70 percent of Nigerians still live below poverty level and Life Expectancy below 50 years despite the huge earnings.
It said, “It is our considered view that Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala may be a round peg in World Bank and IMF round holes; but not in Nigeria’s economic square hole.
“We posit that Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s economic policy of government has no business in business, premised on the private sector driver, and targeted on abstract percentage growth cannot succeed in a primitive economy like Nigeria. There cannot be growth without huge state investment in robust critical infrastructure, as 98% of the so called captains of industry have no factory.
“Otherwise, how come a country which earns annually $20 billion in Oil and Gas revenue, 5 trillion from Federal Inland Revenue Service Tax revenue, over 1 trillion from Customs Duty and $10 billion Excess Crude Account; still record over 70% of her citizenry living below poverty level, over 30% illiterate, live expectancy below 50 years and gross unemployment dislocating families?
“In sum, those who rail-load Nigeria into Debt Trap, instead of managing our resources prudently; must bear in mind that they are not positively projecting or promoting the health image of the country as a disciplined and organized nation to do business with. Hence Nigeria has no good reason to borrow and in fact should stop borrowing.”