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Pro-Buhari group warns against false claims on Nigeria’s debt


The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has warned citizens against spreading what it says are false information on the nation’s debt profile, and other matters that had been clarified and laid to rest.

The group in reaction to a claim by Dr Obadiah Mailafiya, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said there are plans by some set of Nigerians and groups to manipulate such reports for selfish purposes.

Mailafiya was said to have claimed that the country’s total debt was $7 billion in 2015, but had now increased to $84 billion.

But in a statement signed by its chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the BMO described Mailafiya’s claim as “fallacious and unfounded.”

The group said, “What is becoming obvious is that we have a band of ordinarily distinguished Nigerians who are determined to manipulate and mutilate issues in the public space, and it cuts across all segments.

“Contrary to the claim by Dr Mailafiya, the total public debt stock as at June 30, 2015, was $63.81 billion, and not $7B as claimed by him. The people Nigerians should ordinarily trust, unfortunately, have decided to breach that trust by consciously and deliberately lying against what the government is doing.

“The reality is that between 2010 and 2015 the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led government generated more than $390 billion from the sale of crude oil alone. If we add the total debt stock of $63 billion in 2015, the total amount generated in the period will be $450 billion, and we have absolutely nothing to show for it in terms of infrastructural development.”

BMO said that if the nation’s debt-revenue service ratio was high, “it is because governments before now had accumulated so much debt, yet the PMB led government is the one paying the huge debt-revenue services. To further, address this problem, the current administration has deployed and is implementing a number of policies to enhance the government’s revenue generation capacity significantly.

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“Chief among these policies are the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative introduced in January 2019 and more recently, the Finance Bill. These are some of the measures introduced by this government to significantly enhance government’s revenue and thus, bring down the ratio of Debt Service to Revenue.

“We acknowledge what the Debt Management Office (DMO) has done and use this medium to correct the misinformation on the status of the nation’s debt which some mischievous elements are using to blackmail the government from securing a loan in furtherance of PMB’s commitment to critical infrastructural development.”

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