President Muhammadu Buhari, has justified the nation’s rising debt profile, giving reasons that his regime needed to borrow money to fund critical infrastructure like roads, rail and power.
Speaking at a time when stakeholders are expressing concerns over the nation’s rising debt profile, the President at a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council from the Presidential Vila, Abuja said his regime needed the loans.
In a statement titled, ‘President Buhari justifies borrowing to fund infrastructure, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu ’ quoted the President,
“We have so many challenges with infrastructure. We just have to take loans to do roads, rail and power, so that investors will find us attractive and come here to put their money,”
The President was said to have regretted that failure to provide infrastructure for effective transport deprived the country of its well-deserved status as the West African hub for air cargo transport and trans-shipment of goods.
The President noted the challenges posed by the “collapse of the oil market” on the economy
and the decision of government to abide by the reduced oil production quota allocated by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
He said, “We have to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable.”
Futhermore, he talked about the need for the unemployed to be persuaded to embrace farming.
He said, “For us to bounce back to productivity, especially in agriculture, the unemployed with many of them uneducated had to be persuaded to go into agriculture.
“If we hadn’t gone back to the lands, we would have been in trouble by now.
“That is why we stopped the importation of food thereby saving jobs and foreign exchange.
“COVID has reduced us to the same level as developed countries.
“We are lucky we went back to the land. We eat what we produce. We are doing our best to secure the country and provide infrastructure for investment to be viable in the country,” he said.
The President pledged to continue to draw from the council’s wisdom and experiences as the nation deals with challenging economic times.