2020 budget is a budget of bankruptcy ― Economist
Economist and public affairs commentator, Mr Odilim Enwegbara has described the 2020 Appropriation Bill as “a budget of bankruptcy”.
Reacting to the Bill presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, Enwegbara wondered if Nigeria had not “come to the point of agreeing that this business of federal government running Nigeria’s economy should be finally brought to an end?
“For how long do we have to have such a prodigious federal government, a government that can’t stop its borrowing spree?
“For how long should we allow this government to continue to borrow its oversized consumption, where less than two million government workers have directly and indirectly be responsible for 90% of the country’s annual spending?
“For how long should the federal government has to decide where and why road or water etc. should be constructed in Nigeria?”
According to him, debt service to revenue ratio is currently approaching 80% with domestic debt approaching 70% of the country’s overall debt stock.
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“Can we continue to borrow at such unheard-of high cost, especially from our commercial banks to the extent that these banks can’t stop conniving with government agencies responsible for revenue generation to allow high deficit gaps that have meant more and more borrowing from banks to meet the shortages?
“With now close to N30tn debt, and more than N2tn annually spent on mere debt service, and without the economy growing in a way that grows government revenues, how does the government want to repay the huge debt, especially at a time its recurrent spending continues to grow in such geometric progression?”
He warned that unless something drastic was done to reposition the economy and grow it with millions of jobs, sooner than later Nigeria will be forced to the inevitable bankruptcy, which will soon happen when revenue will no longer be enough for debt service.
“I’m frightened to see the least.
“I am because those in power seem to be pretending as if all is all, when is in reality, we are already a candidate for bankruptcy.”