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All monies borrowed since 2015 wasted, says Obi

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The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said all monies borrowed since 2015 for the improvement of the national economy were wasted.

The LP presidential candidate stated this while speaking at the Chatham House in London on Monday.

Obi, while analysing the country’s rising debt, said Nigeria had successfully grown the N15 trillion debt as of 2015 to N75tn presently, adding that the sharp rise in debt was as a result of borrowing for consumption, submitting that the entire money was “thrown away.”

While stating that borrowing is essential for any economy to thrive, Obi reiterated that monies borrowed must be put into the development of the economy and invested into production.

“There’s nothing wrong in borrowing. Borrowing is legitimate and every government I’ve studied in the world borrows, even Britain as we speak owes 70 per cent of their GDP. Every government I know, lives on borrowing.

“Norway, with $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth, is owing. The economies of the world, even the biggest economy in the world, America, is owing almost 100 per cent of their GDP. The second largest economy, China, is owing almost 70 per cent, while Japan is owing over 230 per cent of their GDP. But let me tell you the difference.

Japan is owing 230 per cent of their GDP but they invested the money to save their economy and even with that, Japan is still the largest holder of the US treasuries, so there’s something they can fall back on. So borrowing is not wrong.

“But what has happened is that when you borrow for consumption, you have a crisis. Nigeria in 2015 had a per capita income of $2,500, we were owing about N15tn. Today, with central bank’s ways and means, we are owing about N75tn, so we have grown that debt profile by over 400 per cent. That means that the money we borrowed was thrown away.”

Obi further stated that if elected, he would fight corruption to ensure that Nigeria becomes a country where its citizens are proud to hold its passport and foreign investment thrives.

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