THE Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the February 25 election, Peter Obi, said the bankruptcy alarm by the federal government negated the bloated supplementary budget just signed into law by President Bola Tinubu.
Obi, therefore, called on the government to disclose how much it inherited from the previous government while making a bankruptcy claim.
He disclosed this in a statement issued by Michael Nwaolisa on Thursday, November 16.
Obi, in a series of tweets on his X handle on Thursday, said the alarm also contradicted the spending behavior of the government as contained in its supplementary budget just signed into law by the President and the bloated size of the government.
“I just read yesterday a widely publicised story from the present APC-led Federal Government saying that it inherited a bankrupt nation from the former APC administration. But then the story failed to disclose what it actually inherited, which qualified us for bankruptcy status”
Obi noted that one major characteristic expected of the new Nigeria was a transparent disclosure system, stressing that what was inherited should be disclosed to enable the public to know where the nation was headed.
Obi recalled that the previous APC government, led by former President Muhammadu Buhari, made a similar claim in 2015 against the PDP administration that handed over to it without telling the nation what it inherited.
“Rather, according to official records, they took our debt profile from N12.6 Trillion in 2015 to N87 trillion in 2023 when he left office without improving on any indices of development, education, health, poverty eradication, and security. Instead, every aspect of the development index got worse.”
According to Obi, Nigerians know things are very bad, so what to expect in such circumstances is a measurable and verifiable step to improve the situation.
The former Anambra state governor further argued that the government’s alarm questioned the rationale behind some expenditure profiles of the government so far, especially for some items contained in the supplementary budget just signed into law by the President.
“It also goes to buttress the argument I have held since the electioneering time that the cost of governance must be drastically reduced.
“A bankrupt country should channel every available resource into funding critical development sectors like security, healthcare, education, and eradication of poverty by addressing youth unemployment, not spending on non-focal areas”
The ICIR reported the passage of the N2.17 trillion budget by the Senate, which is to be funded mainly by borrowing amid dwindling revenue.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.