*NIGERIA AND ITS MISCHIEVIOUS GROWING DEBT BURDEN*
By Olaniyi Odina
I always puke when I read analyses from “bread is ready” economists and intellectuals that make unnecessary efforts to dress our debts profile in borrowed robes. They come to tell us how The United States of America is the largest International debtor globally. A peep into the debt of America reveals the following:
1) Total debt of the USA as of the end of First Quarter of 2020 is 24.1 Trillion USD. 24.9% or about 6 trillion USD of this debt is intra-governmental, that is, borrowing between agencies of the federal government.
2) The public debts of the USA stand at 18.23 Trillion USD or 75.1%. It is important to note that, about 12 Trillion of this debt is internally sourced from banks etc.
3) The foreign debts of the US is about 6.78 Trillion USD. Japan has the highest equity holding of 1.27 trillion USD while China is the second with 1.09 Trillion USD.
However, our “bread is buttered” economists will not tell you that the world owes the US about 15 Trillion USD, while the US owes the world a tiny fraction which is about 6.78 Trillion. The simple interpretation of this is that, the world (other countries) owes America about 250% of what America owes the entire global community.
Our pseudo economists that encourage our government to go on mischievous borrowings using America as the yardstick will forget to tell us that America has assets around the globe that runs into hundreds of trillions of USD, they forget that America has military assets (Aircraft carriers, military hardwares, fighter jets etc.) that will cost trillions of dollars if they put up for sale. They will not tell us the asset America has as military bases in almost every corner of the known world. These people are not interested in the economic growth of Nigeria, rather their interest is how far and how well they can dip their filthy fingers into our national cookie jar.
I remembered when Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was holding sway in Osun, I sent in several letters explaining why taking loans under any guise whatsoever will be counterproductive and will sink our dear state in no distant time, meanwhile, some career sycophants accused me of everything under the sun aside murder.
What is happening today? After deduction of loans, Osun state has less than 1 billion from FAAC. While I understand that the full wage bill for Osun state is not less than 1.3 billion monthly. What this simply means is that, an agrarian state like Osun must generate an Internally Generated Revenue of over 400M monthly to augment so as to pay salaries.
The current and future governors of the state will have to practicably work magic for them to have any meaningful impacts in infrastructure, education etc.
In the foreseeable future, the price of oil is expected to crash for several reasons but not limited to research breakthroughs in alternative energy. Osun Stare shares in FAAC might drop to something in the neighbourhood of 600 – 800M (or even deep further) while the debts burden will still be above a billion. That means in the near future, Osun might have to borrow above 400M monthly to finance loans that failed to impart the economy of our state.
This same scenario will play out in the federal government. Buhari and his fellow dictatorial gerontocrat have borrowed the future of Nigeria and mortgaged it. I understand they are processing another loan of over 850-billion-naira after getting approval of the senate in March to borrow 22.7 billion USD.
A quick search on the Website of Debt Management Office reveals that, the Federal Government is in a debt of 23.1 Million USD externally and 43.7 Million USD internally.
Our mono-economy is primarily dependent on petrol dollar. Sadly, we kept on borrowing and pretending as if we don’t know that danger lies ahead of ‘price in petrol’ and the extremely bleak future of petrol dollars.
Instead of younger Nigerians that obviously will bear the brunt in a no distant future to ask relevant questions, many of us are still trapped in malaise of political party. These parties will “come and go” but the danger and landmines the leaders of today are planting will damage all.
Hunger occasioned by inability of government to pay salaries, poverty, abandoned medical and educational infrastructures have a strange way of locating all of us including those with their hands deep in the cookie jar.
Olaniyi Odina is the National Coordinator Good Leadership Promotion Network