The Former Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration doubled Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure to GDP to over 40% from about 20% despite very low oil prices, the recession, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and the war in Europe.
The former president said this while he urged Nigerians to look at the assets and investments that are financed by these debts and not just the country’s debt profile. He said that some of the projects financed by these debts are self-liquidating.
Buhari said Nigeria was able to achieve this despite the plunging of the global oil prices to almost zero at some point, the recession that was experienced by the country, the unexpected outbreak of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the global effects of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by President Buhari on Saturday, May 27, 2023, and can be seen on his official Twitter account.
The pronouncement by the former president is coming against the backdrop of criticisms over Nigeria’s rising debt profile, most of which are used to finance these infrastructures, by economic and financial experts as well as international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF.
President Buhari in his statement said,
“In eight years, I am proud to say that we have doubled Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure to GDP from about 20% to over 40%, and that is no small undertaking.
‘’This happened when global oil prices plunged to almost zero when we encountered a recession that was not predicted, when we dealt with a pandemic that was unforeseen, and when we are still grappling with the global effects of an ongoing war in Europe.
‘’So, as we look at Nigeria’s debt profile, I urge us to also look at the assets and investment profiles, some of which was paid for by debt and some by investment income.’’
The Nigeria former president insisted that without investing in infrastructure, the road out of poverty will be much tougher, adding that some of these projects are commercially self-liquidating.
He said, ‘’The wealth and prosperity of many nations, especially post-war Europe, was built largely on infrastructure and on debt redeemed over decades. Some of the projects are commercially self-liquidating.
‘’Without investing in infrastructure, the road out of poverty is a much tougher one.’’