Hope James

Founder, Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has called on well-meaning Nigerians to donate voluntarily to offset Nigeria’s rising debt profile.

He said this at a press conference on Wednesday, in Ado-Ekiti, where he maintained that the huge external debt should be an urgent issue to be addressed.

According to him, Nigeria is broke, and on her way to bankruptcy, adding that a committee should be set up by the Government for immediate payment of the Nation’s debts.

“The external debt of Nigeria as at June 30, 2022 was N42.84 Trillion while the domestic debt service rose to N5.24 trillion in 30 months as at June 2022.

“Before Nigeria is formally declared bankrupt, it is my view that all these Nigerian billionaires and trillionaires and indeed all patriotic Nigerians should make voluntary donations through a Committee to be set up by the Government for immediate payment of all or substantial part of this huge debt.”

Reacting to concerns on how safe these donations will be, he suggested people with whom the donations will be safe.

In his words, “I know a few persons with whom the money, if donated, will be safe. Someone like myself, I do not need the money for anything. Someone like Bishop Kukah, Pastor Adeboye, Bishop Oyedepo, Former president Olusegun Obasanjo. If the donations are kept with these people, I assure you, that the money will be safe and used for its purpose, which is the repayment of our debts.”

He also, advised the government to emulate Obasanjo’s example by approaching the creditors for forgiveness of the debts. Which according to him is a practical way of reviving the economy.

“The government should emulate Obasanjo’s example by approaching the creditors either for total forgiveness of the debt or substantial reduction of the debt. This is a practical and more realistic way of paying the huge debt thereby reviving our economy.

“Any Nigerian aspiring to rule Nigeria in any form ought to be concerned and indeed worried that Nigeria is owing such a huge debt. Whereas no sensible person wants to invest in a country where his investment and workers are unsafe.”

On the issue of governance, he maintained that the Presidency and National assembly remain the problem of Nigeria. Stressing the fact that Nigeria needs people who are ready to give their all for the good and progress of the Nation.

“Those who have brought us to where we are today, are the leaders in the presidency and National assembly. They are those who have benefited from our resources. Most of the legislators in our parliaments today, got there through godfathers and will continue to do things to please them.

He further reiterated his stand that the Constitution be amended by substituting the 1960/63 Constitution for 1999 Constitution as any election conducted under the current constitution will not bring about the desired change Nigerians want.

“I still stand by my suggestion that any election conducted under 1999 Constitution cannot and will not produce new leaders with new ideas. Rather, any election conducted under the 1999 Constitution will merely result in recycling the same people who have brought Nigeria to grinding poverty, unemployment, underfunded education, insecurity and huge external debt.”