A World Bank consultant, Philip Nto, has asked Nigerians to inquire from former president Olusegun Obasanjo how he ruled for eight years without borrowing.
The finance expert said it was necessary to even kneel and beg for such vital information while speaking with journalists during a summit in Lagos.
He said that Obasanjo’s eight-year tenure did not only run without borrowing but the general also strived to clear external debt and left huge foreign reserves.”
The World Bank expert opined that borrowing is best for investment.
He, however, added that investing in areas that are not profitable is in no way different from borrowing to pay salaries or palliatives.
He revealed that the World Bank is not a charity organization and borrowing without paying back is mortgaging the future of future generations.
He said, “Nigeria is like a family or household. Some families like mine do not even believe in borrowing. But the question that keeps agitating my mind is, what are all these borrowings for? If you borrow for consumption or to pay salaries or even for palliatives, you are simply postponing the evil day which will surely come.
“Now, if you are borrowing for investment, in which areas are you making this investment? The last administration borrowed to do rails. What has come out of it? If you borrow and invest in an area that is not viable, it is the same as borrowing for consumption. We should know that the World Bank is not a charity organization. They give out money to countries that have investment potential. So, if you borrow recklessly, with no intent to pay back, you end up mortgaging the future of the future generations. That is the implication for Nigeria.
“Like I said I don’t support borrowing except if it is for investment. If we put our acts together, we don’t even need to borrow. Maybe we should go on our knees to ask President Obasanjo how, in eight years, he did not borrow but cleared all our external debts and left a huge foreign reserve.”