Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed concern that Nigeria and other African countries may face challenges in securing debt relief due to their substantial debt profiles.
He highlighted that the debt relief Nigeria obtained from the Paris Club during his tenure was allegedly mismanaged by successive administrations, leading the country into significant and undeserved debt. As of September 2023, Nigeria’s public debt stood at N87.91 trillion, according to the Debt Management Office.
Obasanjo emphasized the consequences of mismanagement, suggesting that it might be difficult for future generations in Africa to benefit from debt relief again. He characterized debt as a trap and stressed the importance of leadership, identifying it as the primary problem facing the continent. Obasanjo noted that the coming generations would be burdened with repaying the current debt incurred by various countries in Africa.
In response to the challenges of debt, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, stated that the Federal Government is committed to shifting its focus from borrowing to generating revenue. During the signing of the 2024 budget, he emphasized a reduction in reliance on borrowing and an optimistic outlook on revenue improvements.