Nigeria’s local and foreign debts stand at $60 billion



Nigeria?s vice President-elect, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday said that the country?s local and foreign debts now stand at $60 billion.

He made this statement in Abuja while declaring open the two-day Policy Dialogue on the implementation of the Agenda for Change organised by the Policy, Research and Strategy Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

Mr. Osinbajo, also decried the fact that most of the states can?t pay salaries due to the country?s dwindling resources.

He said, ?Local and international debt stands at US$60 billion. Our Debt servicing bill for 2015 is N953.6 billion, 21 per cent of our Budget. On account of severely dwindled resources, over two-thirds of the states in Nigeria owe salaries. Federal institutions are not in much better shape. Today, the nation borrows to fund recurrent expenditure.

?This is also against the backdrop of a highly unequal society in which, by some reckoning, the largest chunk of the benefits of our national wealth accrues to a small percentage of our population. Our manifesto offered a vision of shared prosperity and socio-economic inclusion for all Nigerians that leaves no one behind in the pursuit of a prosperous and fulfilling life.

The Vice president elect said that an estimated 110 million Nigerians are living in poverty and the figure confirmed that the biggest national problem is extreme poverty.

Mr Osibanjo noted the major concern was the economy which according to him is in its worst moment in history.

He said, ?The figures of extreme poverty in our society- 110 million by current estimates- makes it clear that our biggest national problem is the extreme poverty of the majority. Thus, no analysis is required to conclude that dealing with poverty and its implications is a priority. We are concerned that our economy is currently in perhaps its worst moment in history.

?He said the best way to handle the situation was through Dialogue with the public on policy directions and priorities that will help inform the administrations approach in the next four years.

Osibanjo promised that the APC lead federal government, will give priority to education and teaching methods by teachers. He said his administration would make the training of teachers a priority and plans to review school curricular and partner the civil society in the quest for qualitative education for students.

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