The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi has defended Nigeria’s borrowing culturing like his counterpart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying that every country borrows to bring developments.
The former Anambra state governor, Peter Obi said this on Monday, November 21, 2022, during his address at the Editors Forum, an initiative of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, held in Lagos.
According to him, there was nothing wrong with borrowing but that his administration could only borrow for investment.
He said: “Every nation borrows; individual businesses borrow all over the world. What is important is what we use the borrowed money to do. If you borrow for consumption, that is where we have a problem.”
The former governor insisted that borrowed money should be invested well to increase the country’s gross domestic product and per capita income. “I won’t say I will not borrow, but I will only borrow for investment, and I will explain to Nigerians the need for the borrowing,” he added, promising to reduce the nation’s debt burden.
Asked to speak about his increasing support base, Obi said he doesn’t know the total number of supporters he currently has, but that he would rather die than fail his supporters.
He said: “I did not know many of them, but I vow not to disappoint them. I am determined not to fail them. I would rather die than fail them. I am going to serve them.”
Speaking on the many challenges bedevilling Nigeria, the presidential hopeful said the right leadership would eliminate most of the challenges by turning the country from consumption to production.
Obi opined that Nigeria was going through the challenges mainly because it was a consuming instead of a producing country. According to him, if the nation is productive, three-quarters of its challenges can be solved.
He listed the challenges to include unemployment, poverty, criminality and insecurity.
Obi said: “We cannot have that number of people living in poverty and not have criminality, banditry and so on. We must remove sharing formula and replace it with the production formula.”
According to him, Nigeria had fertile lands and the population to do well in agriculture. He reiterated that the hope of this country is the vast uncultivated land and not the oil we see as citizens.
Obi said: “My commitment is to put Nigeria into production. It is not acceptable that we cannot feed ourselves.
“We must get the country to work; all it requires is the leadership that understands and can drive the process. I can do that.”