The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday, justified the nation’s debt profile, saying his regime needed to borrow to fund critical infrastructure like roads, rail, and power.
According to a statement titled “President Buhari justifies borrowing to fund infrastructure,” by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke at a virtual meeting he had with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council from the Presidential Vila, Abuja.
Buhari spoke at a time stakeholders are expressing concerns over the nation’s rising debt profile and accusing the government of mortgaging the country’s future.
But the President said his regime needed to take loans to address the deficit in the nation’s infrastructure.
He said it was only by doing so that the county could be attractive to investors.
“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,’’ Shehu quoted the President as saying after listening to a presentation by PEAC chaired by Prof Ayo Salami.
Buhari was also said to have regretted that failure to provide infrastructure for effective transportation deprived the country of its well-deserved status as the West African hub for air cargo transportation and trans-shipment of goods.
On the economy, the President noted the challenges posed by the “collapse of the oil market” and the decision of the government to abide by the reduced oil production quota allocated by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“We have to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable.
“So we have cooperated with what we get. With oil, we are in a difficult situation. The politics of oil is that the less you produce, the less you earn.”
Shehu said Salami had, earlier in his presentation, highlighted the council’s recommendations on poverty reduction and stimulation of non-debt investment inflows, as promised at their last meeting.