What I’ll Do To Nigeria’s N35.5trn Debt If Elected President– Anyim Pius

Former Senate President and an aspirant for the 2023 presidential election, Anyim Pius Anyim, on Monday said he will tackle Nigeria’s debt problem and other economic issues by aggressively pursuing industrialisation.

The poor state of the Nigerian economy has become a reference point for those seeking political office to hinge their campaign on.

The Nigerian economy, according to many economic experts, have not been effectively managed by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerians are no longer optimistic about the economy as inflation has gone as high as double digit, while unemployment and the nation’s debt profile continue to worsen.

The country’s debt had risen to N35.5trn, unemployment at 33.3 per cent, while inflation is at 15.4 per cent.

The government has consistently denied experts view that suggests the country is facing debt problem.

Minister of finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed had repeatedly said that Nigeria’s debt is still within the Fiscal Responsibility Act and that the country is only facing a revenue problem.

But Anyim who is taking a shot on the country’s highest job, explained on Arise TV that he can reshape the country’s economy to become self-sufficient and debt free.

He said, “For me, the drivers of the economy will now be on industrialisation and manufacturing, talents and innovation, science and technology.

“This certainly are going to be the key drivers of the economy of the second half of the 21st century and I will develop this, build on this and prepare Nigeria to fit into the fourth industrial revolution.

“That obviously will expand the economy; that will make the economy more competitive and more dynamic.

“I will also focus on the enablers of development. the factors, the circumstances and the situations that promotes prosperity and development.”

On unemployment and debt concern, Anyim said “I understand that last year, the nation earned about N5.5trn as revenue and out the N5.5trn, N4.2trn went into debt servicing and debt repayment leaving just N1.3trn to run the country.

“I also want to believe as a matter of rule that you are not allowed to borrow more than 40 per cent of your GDP and our borrowing rate now is at 36.9 per cent.

“I think that will make it more frightening for any body coming in. But I can tell you that even at that, that does not scare me. The challenges are temporary and the challenges are that of leadership.

“If I am to focus on the economy like I did say before, I will focus the economy on the contemporary world direction- manufacturing, talent and innovation, science and technology.”

He explained that if elected, his administration will create an environment that will enable jobs to multiply.

Anyim said, “If you elevate talent and innovation, then all you need to do is simply create the infrastructure for innovation and support new startup business, then just concentrate on what will create jobs on its own.

“Support the younger ones in setting up their own businesses in such a manner that they don’t need to wait for government employment and once they create their own businesses, they will be in the position to employ others.

“The advantage of private sector employment is that it is, more efficient, it is more rewarding in terms of payment of salaries and it is more productive.

“So I will focus on those things that will create an economic environment that will encourage talented Nigerians to deploy their talents and eventually focus on innovation that will fit into the fourth industrial revolution that is already here with us.

“I want to believe that will help get us out of the issue of borrowing to pay salaries, borrowing to pay recurrent expenditure. I want to believe that my economic direction will actually shift from where we are today, to a new direction of the world economy.”

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