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Buhari defends N70tn debt during his administration, says loans well invested



President Muhammadu Buhari has defended the rise in Nigeria’s debt profile under his administration, as he’s set to handover power to President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on Monday, May 29.

Nigeria’s debt hit about N70 trillion in 2023 due to the N22.7 trillion ways and means loan borrowed from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which was recently converted into bonds following the approval of the National Assembly.

The nation’s debt profile rose from N46.25 trillion as of December 2022. At the end of 2021, the debt stood at N39.56 trillion. The significant rise in Nigeria’s debt has resulted in criticism of Buhari.

In a statement on Saturday on his Twitter page, President Buhari said the loan were invested in infrastructure, as when people are concerned about rising debt, they should also consider the infrastructure built by his administration.

READ ALSO:Presidency justifies Buhari’s approval for funds to clear judgement debts

“In eight years, I am proud to say that we have doubled Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure to GDP from about 20% to over 40%, and that is no small undertaking.

“This happened when global oil prices plunged to almost zero, when we encountered a recession that was not predicted, when we dealt with a pandemic that was unforeseen and when we are still grappling with the global effects of an ongoing war in Europe.

“So, as we look at Nigeria’s debt profile, I urge us to also look at the assets and investment profiles, some of which was paid for by debt and some by investment income.

“The wealth and prosperity of many nations, especially post-war Europe, was built largely on infrastructure and on debt redeemed over decades. Some of the projects are commercially self-liquidating.

“Without investing in infrastructure, the road out of poverty is a much tougher one,” the statement by President Buhari on his Twitter handle reads.

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