The Federal Government has been urged to embark on massive borrowing, but not to tamper with national assets to wriggle the nation out of the present economic recession.
The recommendation was made on the occasion of Nigeria’s 56 Independence Anniversary by the South South Reawakening Group (SSRG) convened by Joseph Ambakederemo at the weekend in Warri, Delta State.
Speaking on the theme: “Nigeria can Become a Great Country, but Who’ll Drive it to that Greatness?, the convener said the FG should massively borrow, if possible also from the Pension Fund, but must ensure judicious use.
“We recommend massive borrowing and monitor effectively to ensure that funds are religiously and judiciously used for the suppose for which it was borrowed, not to pay salaries or give as bailout to state governors,” he stated.
Ambakederemo insisted that the recommendation was not out of place because “Massive borrowing will do the magic, after all the biggest economy in the world, the United States of America is the biggest borrower in the world with excess liability of trillions of dollars and ironically the United States is the most prosperous country in the world.
“Incidentally, we applaud the one billion dollars loan advanced by the African Development Bank to makeup the 2016 budget deficit and another $ 4.1billion in 2016/2017 to boost Agriculture, power and infrastructure.
“Therefore, our recommendation for borrowing is not out of place and we further appraise the PPP model the Federal Government entered with General Electric of America where part of the concessioning is the building and assemblage of train coaches in Nigeria and establishment of a transport university.”
The group also urged the presidency to reduce its presidential fleet to three aeroplanes as part of its measure to shore up revenue for the country.
Ambakederimo, said President Muhammadu Buhari should take a cue from the Saudi King who recently cut down earnings of his officials in order to salvage the country from economic woes.
“Again we will suggest that government engage in farm settlement scheme for the states, bring back the commodity boards, reduction in government expenditure and reduction of presidential fleet to three planes.
“After all, we just heard that the Saudi King has decreed that salaries, phone bills, housing allowances, car, and car maintenance and fuel of ministers and members of the Shura Council (the highest decision making body in the land) be cut down.
“We need to take a cue from this wealthy country, cut down on our aides, convoy, recurrent expenditures etc…in order to save money.
“We are waiting for the NASS to tell Nigerians the sacrifices they are prepared to make for the country to get out of recession, ditto for the state governors, council chairmen and councilors,” the group averred.