Former Governorship Candidate, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, who contested the March 9 Lagos State Governorship Election on the platform of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) described those managing the Nigeria’s economy as ‘amateur’. This statement was made while reacting to the request for the approval of the 2016-2018 External Borrowing Plan.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday last week urged the National Assembly to review and approve the plan after it was rejected by the 8th National Assembly. In letters addressed to the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives, the President explained that the request was for specific outstanding projects under the 2016-2018 borrowing plan.
In his reaction, Gbadamosi faulted the move by the President and took a jab at those managing the economy. He stressed that the nation does not need to borrow money but rather, put certain measures in place that would help generate more revenue. The former governorship candidate also advised the Federal Government to create a better conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“The people that are running the economy right now are ranked amateurs; they have no clue what they are doing. Stop borrowing, open up the economy. Open the land borders, allow trade, remove forex restrictions; stop trying to micromanage the foreign exchange rates.” Gbadamosi added
However, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and legal practitioner, Daniel Bwala, defended the decision to borrow money. Bwala, who was also a guest on Sunday politics, disagreed with Gbadamosi on the need to borrow, saying it was easy to say than to do.
“Intriguing enough, any government that comes to power; before coming to power they will kick against borrowing but when they come to power and they are faced with the reality, they will have to face the issue. I am in support of the borrowing because if you have infrastructure deficit; if you have the problem of managing between that revenue ratio and the borrowing, then you have a problem,” he stated.
According to the APC member, no economist would argue the fact that a country needs to borrow if it must tackle the problem of infrastructure. He, however, advised the government to set up a task force such as a department in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor projects which the borrowed monies were meant for.