In 2006, Nigeria paid $18billion to the Paris Club of creditors in order to be forgiven its debt of $30billion. Ten years later, the same country wants to borrow almost $30billion from international creditors.
Ten years ago, Olusegun Obasanjo was Nigeria’s president. Today Muhammadu Buhari is Nigeria’s president. Both have similarities: the only men who have ruled Nigeria both as military dictator and democratically elected president.
Buhari has requested the National Assembly to approve a borrowing plan of $29.960billion for execution of key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018. The president also requested for virement of N180.8 billion in the 2016 budget for for funding of critical recurrent and capital items.
The president made the requests in two separate letters to Senate president Bukola Saraki and speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, the letters which were read on the floor of both chambers on Tuesday.
If the requests are approved, Nigeria will surely return to a debt trap from which it may never be freed. Already, the cost of maintaining borrowed funds, local and foreign, now totalling at least $13billion, has drilled holes in the nation’s treasury.