The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) for the general elections, Omoyele Sowore, has revealed that if he was elected the next president of Nigeria, he will checkmate the country’s debts before debt servicing.
Sowore had said this on Thursday morning while featuring in the Arise TV Morning Show programme, where he said that Nigeria continued to sink economically because of its high debt profile while leaders kept borrowing more, thereby continually impoverishing Nigerians.
The AAC presidential candidate said that it was unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari had borrowed Nigeria back to the stone age while there were multiple sources of revenue that had either been hidden or not been harnessed properly.
Sowore pointed out that Nigeria’s problem was not debt to Gross Domestic Product GDP) ratio but debt to revenue ratio, as many revenue generated agencies did not remit anything to the federal government’s purse.
He said that “As the President, I’m going to pause the payment of debt until I audit the debt. That is what I will do first and foremost when I’m sworn in. I’m not repaying any debt until the audits are properly done because we need the money to fix the country.
“Buhari has borrowed Nigeria back to the stone age and everybody has agreed on that but our problem is not debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio, our problem is debt to revenue ratio, and we will aggressively increase revenue.
“I have identified several revenue sources that are either being hidden or not being harnessed the way they should be. I have identified taxes that are being owed to the Nigerian state that are up to $4.5 billion by oil companies. I have identified about N11 trillion revenue generated agencies that are not remitted to the federal government purse.
“We have identified money that could come from the NLNG which is over $5 billion that is not remitted directly to the federal government; it is remitted through the NNPC and the NNPC just held the money. I have identified several other products that can get into the international markets.
“There is money in Stamp Duty although I don’t think it is up to N89 trillion but there is a sizable amount of money there. I have confirmed this with agencies that are involved in financial investigations but it is hanging around with banks that are connected with the Central Bank of Nigeria governor.”