Prince Adewole Adebayo, the presidential candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), has stated that he is unconcerned about the N77 trillion debt that will be left for his administration by May 29, during the handover ceremony following the February 25 presidential election.
Adebayo reassured Nigerians that they need not be alarmed by the mounting evidence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s failure, despite Buhari’s administration hiring an unimaginative team to head the Central Bank of Nigeria and has instead been creating debts rather than managing the economy.
During his tenure as president, Adebayo promised that Nigeria’s accumulated debt of N77 trillion Naira would be repaid in three budget cycles and that the country’s citizens would reap the benefits of good governance in the form of the full activation of welfare provisions in the country’s constitution.
According to him, Nigeria is not a liability. He plans to use its many assets to turn around the country’s dire state and make it the object of international envy.
He argued that Nigeria’s 220 million people represent an untapped resource that could be used to pay off the country’s debts if only sufficient tax revenue were generated by providing decent jobs paying livable wages.
He argued that turning the area into farmland would generate more tax money to help stimulate the economy and solve pressing problems.
Adebayo claimed that he decided to run for president of Nigeria since the country faces so many problems that, in his opinion, are easily solvable because of the country’s vast resources.
He said, “I knew these problems before I declared to run. If these problems were not there, I would not have taken an interest to run.
“When you have a debt profile that is put at N77 trillion, you are looking at the death side; what about the asset side?
“When I take my oath of office, I am not just inheriting the debt; I am inheriting 220 million people. I am inheriting entrepreneurs. I am inheriting the most significant gas reserve. I am inheriting a vast agricultural land. Nigerians are so lively, highly energetic, and all ready to work.
“I mean everything, all other things, solid minerals and assets. S o the debt is so small when compared to the assets that we have. So, I will look at the structure of our debt.
“If I push our revenue up by 32%, we will be fine, but the window of pushing our revenue up is about 300 per cent. And if I push down the wastage and the corruption by three-quarters 75% with some saving pockets here and there. And do some mop-up. Nigerians would not even remember that we have a debt profile at all.
“We will retire the debts within three budgets, the debt will be insignificant, and the people will get employment if I get 30 million jobs added to the workforce. The taxation on pay, as you earn alone, will wipe this debt off.
“If I get agriculture productivity in four belts in the country, lower Kebbi, upper Niger, in southern Kaduna plateau, axis, if I get agriculture in Oke Ogun. Part of southwest Nigeria and Agriculture in Benue will significantly deal with the problem.
“I don’t worry about that. I said so because I am not in the mood to insult anybody. It is not the load that kills but how you carry it, so these debts represent a deficit of imagination—a deficit of creativity and competence.
“I said so because their original sin is not managing our revenue accrues very well because they didn’t mandate revenue accrues due to three problems that they have created for themselves, including the fact that they don’t have the competence to do an appraisal of revenue profile and capture all the revenue subheads and govern all the revenue sub-head prudently.
“Secondly, they need to be more timely in administration and supervision. So many leakages, even within the one they captured.
“Thirdly, they have collected campaign funding and other support from those benefiting from leakages and blind spots.
“So to keep their friends happy with their political structures, they have created no-go areas, and as a result, they are not able to capture enough revenue.
“Because they have hired an unpatriotic and unimaginative central bank governor. So they’re able to create debts, like a drunken sailor and turn the central bank into a casino. That is why they have all these crises.
The Labour Party has promised to investigate the various funding mechanisms contributing to the N77 trillion under President Mohammadu Buhari’s government whenever it assumes power in 2023.
The Labour Party stated that the People’s Party administration would implement effective measures to reduce the national debt by making all 774 local councils into economic powerhouses that would raise living standards and GDP.
Dr Yunusa Tanko, the chief spokesman for the Obi-Datti presidential team, made this statement.
He stated, “It is indeed a colossal task. However, the Labour Party would renegotiate debt and their payment strategy/
“Leverage in the fact that we want to make this Nigeria nation a production nation to be able to take care of the debts.
“Subsidizing production to make it fast to have people working in all the 774LG producing.
“Look into the areas to make sure that our economic stakeholders go into research on the debt managing situation because the debt is from many sources and we look at it critically.”
African Democratic Congress (ADC) presidential candidate Kachikwu Dumebi has said he would renegotiate the debt to seek debt forgiveness and eliminate debts that do not conform to international best practices if elected.
“If the Nigerian people give me their mandate as President of Nigeria, I will renegotiate all debts. Only debt that meets internationally accepted transparency and due process standards will be honoured.
“All other valid debts will be renegotiated to seek forgiveness and reduction. All revenue leakages will be plugged in while we rebase and broaden the economy to allow room for new SMEs to emerge.
“Once we strengthen and support the middle class, create new jobs, boost manufacturing and increase non-oil exports, we will be in a better position to pay down or pay off all legitimate debts.
“The tragedy of the Nigerian story is that our debts have grown out of proportion but the Nigerian people have nothing to show for it,” Dumebi emphasized.