|Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari|
Professor Abayomi Adebayo of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, has expressed fears over what he calls “careless subscription to all kinds of loans” by the Federal Government, saying the country has been sold out to foreigners.
Adebayo who disclosed this in an interview with Sunday Tribune, said the huge debts the country has accumulated, would put the country’s economy at risk of external shocks and manipulation.
The President Muhammadu Buhari Government recently got the senate approval to borrow $16 billion, a development the professor of Economics said is dangerous considering the country has the track record of misusing borrowed funds.
Adebayo, who was recently rated the most productive Nigerian researcher in Economics in the 2021 AD Scientific Index ranking of Economists, lamented that previous borrowings have not translated into physical economic impact on the various sectors of the economy.
The lecturer, while explaining that there is nothing bad in borrowing to bail out the economy, pointed out that the 2022 budget part of which the fresh loan was being sought is fraught with many corrupt projects.
“A lot of resources from resource endowment angle and borrowing are not efficiently applied to bail the economy out. This is why Nigeria has become like a cursed place for the citizens.
“The citizens are voluntarily migrating to any country in the world because the leadership has decided to sit on the resources and decide what they want to do with it, rather than making the economy better for it,” he said.
Speaking on the struggling Naira, he said, “Economically, for you to have your currency strong and stable, you must have something you are offering the international community.
“The value of a currency is not determined by paper policy. It is determined by the productivity of that country. We only need dollar because we are buying from outside the country. Why is dollar our problem? It is because we are import-dependent in virtually everything.
“The CBN is just struggling. All the closing of borders and banning things is just to stop sharp practices. The real determinant of the value of the naira is in what we have to offer other nations. In Nigeria, we have nothing to offer other than crude oil which is a raw material and it commands useless value. There is no way the naira will not be in trouble with this.
“We import anything into the country. So, there is no magic any policy maker can make. People talk about foreign exchange policy. Which policy are you going to use when you are producing nothing? What the CBN is doing is struggling with minor issues around their policy. But the pressure is there and it is much.”