The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated “the reason” for debt accumulation by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
This is in spite of the escalation in public debt since the inception of the Buhari administration. In comparison to the previous governments, foreign debt has grown three times more than the combined figure recorded by the past three administrations.
Fashola, in an interview with BBC Pidgin said that the debt accumulation is a way for the unborn generation to contribute to the country’s infrastructure building.
“Our infrastructures are no longer enough for us to use. That’s why, the children people say we are accumulating debt for, should we wait until they are 40 to start building infrastructure or we build the infrastructure before they are born. Which in is more sensible? They should meet the infrastructure on ground.
“I ask people that the bridge we built in Lagos yesterday in Lekki, should we wait for the children who use the bridge when going to school now to become adults before building the bridge? Is it not better that they use it from when they are small? They should also contribute to it.”
He added that Nigerians will either choose between government borrowing or increment in taxes, adding that the American government has a debt burden of $23trillion and it is still borrowing.
His comment trails a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who condemned borrowing by the Buhari regime, saying accumulating debt for future generation is foolish and criminal.
“If we are borrowing for recurrent expenditure it is height of folly. If you are borrowing for development that can pay itself, of course, that is understandable. Then paying itself, how long will it take to pay itself?
“But if you are borrowing and you are accumulating debt for the next generation and the generation after them, it is criminal, to put it mildly,” Obasanjo added.