PDP Rejects Osinbajo’s Comment On Debt Profile
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has countered Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s claims on legacy debts inherited by the Buhari administration.
Vice President Osinbajo had last Saturday at the ninth Public Lecture of Sigma Club at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, said the Buhari-led administration inherited $63 billion debt and had only borrowed $10 billion since it took office in 2015.
He had said, “In 2010, our debt was $35 billion, $41 billion in 2011, $48 billion in 2012, $64 billion in 2013, $67.7 billion in 2014, $63.8 billion in 2015, $57.8billion in 2016, $70 billion in 2017 and $73 billion in 2018.
“The nation’s debt as at today is $73 billion, an increment of $10 billion from the $63 billion inherited in 2015.”
He said the nation’s oil earnings was $119.8 billion between 1990 and 1998, $481 billion from 1999 to 2009 and $381 billion from 2010 to 2014, while the present administration had only earned $112 billion from June 2015.
“The earnings from oil from 2010 to 2014 were the highest recorded in the history of the country. This is a period when the price of oil per barrel sold from $100 to $114”, he had said.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, while addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the failures of the Buhari administration, Osinbajo falsified financial templates to argue that this government had no blame in the accumulation of debts under its watch.
He stated, “The PDP also wishes to bring to the attention of Nigerians to the deliberate distortion of facts by Vice President Osinbajo regarding the nation’s debt profile, which escalated to a frightening proportion under the Buhari administration.
“It is an incontrovertible fact that the Buhari administration has accumulated more debts than any other administration in the history of our nation.
“Our dear vice president forgot Nigerians are aware that between 2016 and 2017, under President Buhari, our annual borrowing was about N3.7 trillion as against the N1.04 trillion annual borrowing perimeter between 2008 and 2015. Between 1999 and 2007 the annual borrowing perimeter was as low as N96 billion naira.
“To deceive the public and divert attention to the alarming borrowing spree of the Buhari administration, the APC-led federal government converted domestic debt borrowed in naira under its watch, to the US dollar so that the very high exchange rate will make the domestic debt look smaller in dollars.
“This is a deceptive picture because domestic debt was accumulated in naira and not in dollar.”
Ologbondiyan pointed out that the domestic debts of states were not part of the database until 2013, and therefore, a sincere comparison of debts over the years should have focused on total external debt and federal government’s domestic debt.
According to him, “In view of the above, if Vice President Osinbajo, a professor of law, was not being economical with the truth, the appropriate comparison should be to have the domestic debt in naira and convert the external debt to naira to get national debt for each of the years, which show that the Buhari administration has accumulated more debts than any other administration.”