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FG can borrow till eternity, says APC National Chairman



The National Chairman of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday came under attacks over his comments that the federal government could borrow till eternity to fund the country’s infrastructure regeneration.

Adamu, while speaking in an interview on Trust Television late Monday, had said countries like the United States and the United Kingdom borrowed funds from international financial institutions to meet their needs.

Adamu said:  “I remember a programme we had here, I told you and I thought you believed me that I have no quarrel with government borrowing. Government can borrow from here to eternity. The American government borrows, the Canadian government borrows, the United Kingdom borrows, France borrows money from the World Bank and such other institutions.

Nigeria is no exception, what I quarrel with is if the money is not used for a purpose and the infrastructure we are developing across the country is from this source.

“You also have to appreciate the fact of the level of revenue accruing to the government, oil is the main thing.. We want to see how best we can diversify. These issues affecting the revenue accruing to the government are not our making.  No matter how good we are, they happen.

“When some countries sneeze, we catch a cold. The Ukrainian crisis with Russia is having an impact on our economy and even in bigger economies than our own, so why do we limit ourselves in our thinking.”

His position was, however, faulted by the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Labour Party and other economy experts who noted that the nation’s debt profile had become unsustainable, in the face of dwindling revenues, stressing that there were alternative ways of funding infrastructure.

They also added at further increase in the   national debt could lead to high inflationary economic growth or no growth at all, a much higher cost of capital in the economy, and possible sovereign default and its damaging effects.

NECA said there were alternative ways of funding infrastructure, adding that debt should not be the first option.

The umbrella body for employers in the country equally expressed worry over whether the funds being borrowed would be judiciously used, considering past experiences.

The Director-General of NECA, Wale Oyerinde, said: “While we are not against government’s borrowing to fund critical “Cash-Back” infrastructures, we are, however, concerned about the propriety of the borrowing at this time when it has become expedient to drastically reduce our exposure to further debt.

‘’Of concern also is whether the funds would be judiciously used, considering past experiences.  It is no news that the nation’s cost of governance is abnormally high and overboard. Rather than borrowing being the first option in view of current economic realities, it would be reasonable for the government to realign its priorities and look inwards.

‘’There are several moribund government structures and assets that could be leased or sold off, rather than leave them in a perpetual dilapidated state.

“In the last decade, government borrowings have been to fund recurrent expenditure and expensive governance, leaving the country in huge debt with consequences for current and future generations. ‘’While experts continue to aver that our debt-to-GDP ratio is healthy, the real challenge we must address is our debt-to-revenue ratio which, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, is tending towards negative.”

Spokesman of Labour Party, Dr. Doyin Okupe said:   “Such statement shows the level of how myopic the ruling party can be about the future of Nigeria youths.

‘’It shows they don’t have any good plan for Nigeria. Do they want foreigners to take over Nigeria? It is high time the National Assembly sat-up and   prove to Nigerians that they are not rubber-stamps as they are being perceived by many.”

Investment expert and CEO, Wyoming Capital and Partners, Tajudeen Olayinka, said in his reaction: “I think APC chairman spoke from the position of ignorance. While a sovereign nation can borrow money from multiplicity of sources, through issuance of debt instruments to investors from all across the world, including domestic investors, or make special arrangements with bilateral or multilateral sources, the question of perpetuity of such borrowings depends largely on the capacity of the sovereign nation to refinance her matured or maturing obligations timeously.

“Interestingly, the capacity to refinance debts is a function of the ability of the sovereign nation to manage debt sustainability. Where sustainability is in doubt, it might be difficult to raise additional finances under such terms and conditions that are supportive of the country’s economy.

“In other words, debt instruments issued by a country experiencing sustainability problems could attract higher or outrageous yields, inimical to economic growth and development.

“In fact, such instruments are treated as junk bonds in the international capital market. If care is not taken, especially with the way Nigeria is beginning to have difficulty improving her revenue generation capacity, relative to her debt service obligations, the country might fall into that negative territory in no distant future.

‘’So, it is important that the government should begin to retrace its steps in good time, in order not to put the economy in a big mess. Private sector-driven economy requires much lower public debts, and could produce a better economy for all.”

On the consequences of eternity borrowing by Nigeria, Olayinka said: “The economic consequences of unsustainable debts are: high inflationary Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth or no growth at all, a much higher cost of capital in the economy, possible sovereign default and its damaging effects, unemployment could become a major issue, persistent macroeconomic imbalances, etc.”

Reacting as well, Prof Uche Uwaleke , President, Association of Capital Market Academics and a former Finance Commissioner in Imo State, said : “The key question this raises is for what purpose are we borrowing?

“If the loans are self-liquidating, then there is no cause for alarm. But, if they are not well applied such that the country’s debt burden is aggravated, thereby mortgaging future generations, then it does not make sense to borrow.  ’In sum, borrowing is positive for Nigeria only when it advances economic growth and development.”

In his reaction, Chartered Stockbroker and Managing Director/CEO, Sofunix Investment and Communication, Sola Oni, said: “Government’s penchant for reckless borrowing signifies poor management of resources.

‘’Deployment of Ways and Means Financing, WMF, which is continuous printing of currency, has dire consequences of unsustainable payment of interest and loss of confidence in the sovereign status of such a country in the international financial market.

‘’Rather than indulging in a borrowing spree, the Federal Government should take advantage of immense opportunities for capital injection in the financial capital market to raise development funds at cheaper rates.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for the increased borrowing of the Federal Government since the inception of the administration in 2015.

This led to N29 trillion or 67 per cent   increase in the national debt to N41.6 trillion at the end of March 31, 2022, from N12.6 trillion at the end of 2015, as the Federal Government continued reliance on borrowing to fund its annual budget.

Recently, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that FG had to borrow N3.09 trillion between January and April this year to fund its expenditure and service its debt during the period. During the four month period, the FG recorded revenue of N1.63 trillion, spent N4.72 trillion out of which N1.94 trillion was spent on debt service. (Vanguard)

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Fuel queues hit Abuja, other cities after Tinubu suspended subsidy



File: Motorists on long Fuel queues at NNPC Petrol station at CBD Abuja

Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources, says Tinubu

Fuel queues returned to Nigerian cities Monday as many motorists scrambled to get petroleum products hours after President Bola Tinubu announced that the government will put an end to the fuel subsidy regime.

Tinubu on Monday in his inaugural address at Eagle Square, Abuja, declared that there would no longer be a petroleum subsidy regime as it was not sustainable.

He said the current 2023 budget only has provision for the fuel subsidy till June, adding that the funds meant for subsidies will be diverted to creation of public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.

“We shall, instead, re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions,” Mr Tinubu said.

But hours after the declaration, fuel queues resurfaced in major cities across the country amid uncertainty over the effect of the new policy.


A PREMIUM TIMES correspondent who visited petrol stations around Abuja metropolis Monday evening found that queues have yet again resurfaced in the city.

Across the nation’s capital city, some filling stations were under lock and key while some were besieged by motorcyclists, tricycle owners, as well as private and commercial drivers.

Many filling stations in the Lugbe area of Abuja sold petrol at prices ranging between N194 and N198. Outside Abuja, residents said fuel stations sold petrol for N230.

On Monday evening, a long queue of motorists was observed at the NNPC filling station along Airport Road, Lugbe.

Shafa, Fynefield and NNPC fuel stations at Apo sold petrol to motorists at prices ranging between N194 and N198, while Mobil, MRS and Ashafa along Lugbe Airport Road were also open to customers.

Some other filling stations were, however, shut against motorists and tricycle riders.

A car owner, Nwekefero Munachi, at the NNPC filling station along Airport Road, Lugbe, said: “As I was driving down from town, I saw a queue at the filling station but I don’t know what the cause may be. So as I approached Lugbe, I noticed another queue. I can’t place my hand on what the queue is all about. But all I know is that there are queues in filling stations.”

The same trend was witnessed in Lagos, Ogun, and Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State Lagos, Ogun

In Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, fuel queues surfaced around the Ojodu and Berger axis Monday evening as motorists scrambled to get fuel ahead of resumption of work Tuesday

A commercial motorcyclist, Ibrahim Adeleke, said he noticed the queues about two days ago but things got worse Monday after Mr Tinubu said the subsidy regime has ended.

“People don’t know what will happen and petrol station owners too are not certain of what the new government will do,” he said.

In Akute area of Ogun State, some of the popular fuel stations were shut Monday evening.


In Ekiti, there were long queues at some of the major fuel stations visited. The filling stations were seen dispensing petrol at N230 while many remained shut.

At the Furasat filling station Okebareke, in Ido Ekiti, Tunde Ajayi, a motorist at the station, attributed the fuel queue to subsidy removal.

“This is surprising, people have started panic buying just with the announcement of subsidy removal.

“We used to buy it for N230 per litre before and now it is still the same price but people already believe that with the president’s announcement fuel price might go up,” Mr Ajayi said.

“I’m here to buy and store so I can manage it before the filling station starts increasing their litre price,” he added.

Kenneth Onyebuchi, a civil servant said: “I’m not sure this is because of the subsidy removal announcement, I think this is because of the long holiday. You know tomorrow is work so I just think people are just coming out to fill their cars.

“If it’s because of what the president said we will know within the week,” he said.

A car owner, John-wisdom Nwali, said “As I was driving towards my house, I observed a queue in the filling stations and I decided to stop and refill my tank. Another round of fuel scarcity should not be encouraged in this regime because we have suffered a lot in Buhari’s tenure because of scarcity.

“I heard that this recent queue is caused by the government announcement of removing fuel subsidies but I don’t know how true it is,” he said.

Fuel subsidy

The Nigerian government has, for decades, subsidised fuel and fixed retail prices of petroleum products. The payment has, however, threatened the nation’s fiscal position and impacted the government’s ability to fund developmental projects across the nation.

In November 2021, the federal government announced its plan to remove the fuel subsidy and replace it with a monthly N5,000 transport grant for poor Nigerians.

But the government later suspended the plan after the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) threatened to embark on mass protests.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, in January last year said the government had realised the timing of its planned removal of petrol subsidy is “problematic”, and will worsen the suffering of Nigerians.

She said the government will retain fuel subsidy indefinitely and will work on amending the 2022 budget to provide funds for that purpose. The government added that it would spend N3 trillion on subsidies in 2022.

In the first quarter of 2023, Mrs Ahmed said that it will be more appropriate for the government to begin the implementation of its fuel subsidy policy in the second quarter of the year. She noted that the country needs to exit the fuel subsidy regime because it is a very significant contributory factor to revenue loss.

As concerns were raised over the sustainability of the subsidy regime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) also announced that the country was spending over N 400 billion monthly on petroleum subsidies.

The government subsequently said that it will phase out the subsidy regime by the end of the first half of the year.

But in April, the National Economic Council (NEC) suspended the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Mrs Ahmed said that the council deliberated on the matter and resolved that the subsidy cannot be removed for now.

On Monday, Mr Tinubu announced that the subsidy regime has ended because it’s not sustainable. (PREMIUM TIMES)

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How Dokpesi died – DAAR management



Late Chief Raymond Dokpesi

The Management of DAAR Communications Limited on Monday cleared the air surrounding death of its founder, Raymond Dokpesi.

The media mogul breathed his last on Monday in Abuja.

While confirming his death in a statement, the DAAR Communications Group Managing Director, Tony Akiotu, said the late businessman had been ill prior before his death.

He, however, explained that he was on his journey to full recovery before he fell and died during routine exercise on Monday.

“He had been ill in the last few weeks but was on his way to full recovery.

“He had a fall off his threadmill during routine gym exercise.

“Further announcements as regards to burial arrangements will be made by the family,” the statement read.

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Dopkesi: Nigeria has lost a patriot — PDP



Late Chief Raymond Dokpesi

A statement issued by Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary, noted that Dokpesi was an exceptionally committed and courageous nationalist, an insightful and loyal party man; a brilliant and resourceful entrepreneur who was steadfast in his selfless contributions towards the unity, stability and development of our great Party and the nation at large.

According to the party, as a patriotic Nigerian, Dokpesi deployed his media empire of Africa Independent Television (AIT) Ray Power FM and Faaji FM to champion the course of national development, promoted greater and affordable access to information across the country, stimulated good governance, enhanced economic growth and development in all critical sectors and opened our nation to international limelight and opportunities.

The statement added: “He was a detribalized Nigerian, who put the interest and wellbeing of our nation above every other consideration and made numerous positive landmarks in our national political, economic and social landscapes.

“Chief Dokpesi’s death is indeed a colossal national loss and a big blow to the PDP family.”

The PDP condoled with the Dokpesi family, the Daar Communication Group, the Government and people of Edo State, the Weppa-Wanno Kingdom, the Edo PDP family and prayed to the Almighty God to grant all the fortitude to bear this devastating loss and to Dokpesi, eternal rest in the Bosom of the Lord.

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