Atiku has poor understanding of economics, talks with beer parlour analysis – BMO

By Shola Abayomi.

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has fired back at former vice president, Atiku Abubakar for asserting that President Muhammadu Buhari plunged Nigeria deep in debt by doubling the nation’s debt profile from N12 trillion to N24.9 trillion between 2015 to 2019.

Atiku was quoted in a recent statement as saying, “Nigeria’s debt has more than doubled from N12 trillion in 2015, to N24.9 trillion in 2019, yet we became the world headquarters for extreme poverty. Irresponsible borrowing results in unprecedented sorrowing.”

Responding to the statement, the BMO, through its chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, tackled the former vice president for his “lack of basic understanding of economics and governance”, adding that instead of fully digesting the document released by the Debt Management Office (DMO), Atiku opted to play to the gallery with beer parlour analysis.

“We have seen the latest position of the former Vice President on the nation’s debt profile and how he sought to trivialize it in order to whip up sentiments. We are however surprised that he does not know that a nation’s debt portfolio cannot be discussed in isolation of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), especially in terms of income and national assets.

“People who understand basic economics would tell you that at 19 per cent of GDP, Nigeria’s borrowing is quite low when compared to countries like South Africa, Brazil, Ghana and Angola but Atiku Abubakar is opting to play to the gallery with beer parlour analysis couched in flowery language.

“It is even a far cry from the 25 per cent debt-to-GDP benchmark set by the Nigerian authorities.

“One other thing that the former VP showed little understanding of is the difference between public and Federal Government debt

“The debt stock document noted that the Federal Government owes N13.1 trillion domestically, while the states and the FCT owe N3.97 trillion but this means nothing to an opposition element that needs to hang on to any straw to be on the front pages of the media.

“And just like the DMO said, and as the government has affirmed through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo even before now, the debt stock has risen but unlike what the PDP presidential candidate that has yet to come to terms with his electoral loss wants Nigerians to believe, it has nothing to do with profligate spending.

“A large chunk of the debt is tied to projects and Nigerians could easily see the impact of Sukuk bond on the hundreds of kilometres of roads under construction or that are being rehabilitated. This is aside from the nationwide railway project that is bound to touch every state of the federation before the end of the President’s second term in office,” the BMO chairman said through a statement.

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