By Abiodun Azi
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) on Friday said that private creditors played a role in debt crises, of which hinder the economic recovery of struggling economies like Nigeria.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC, disclosed this in Lagos at a media presentation of a research on the role of private creditors in Nigeria’s debt crisis.
Rafsanjani who spoke virtually, said that CISLAC with support from its partner, Christian Aid (CA),undertook a series of engagements to enhance the urgency with which our governments and the international community must address sovereign debt crises.
He said that these included a research commissioned to fully highlight the Nigerian context and dimensions of the indebtedness to private creditors for policy options and deliberate efforts to ending it.
He said that it also included a policy roundtable on the modality for setting a debt limit as a veritable mechanism for providing the parameter for checks and control of the debt stockpile of all the tiers of government and ultimately avert a national public debt crises of bankruptcy proportions.
“As we share the findings of this research today, we hope that it contributes to protecting the interests of present and future generations by spurring present and incoming governments in Nigeria to commit to and take urgent actions to salvage the country from the current and impending economic throes.
“Barely two decades after Paris debt cancellation, Nigeria’s sovereign debt has reached an all time high with over $103 billion (42.8 trillion).
“External component of the debt currently is 40 billion dollars which represents 1,333 per cent, Nigeria appears to be heading towards another debt crisis.
“”It is against this backdrop that CISLAC with support from CA organised a day forum on media presentation of research on the role of private creditors in Nigeria’s debt crisis.
“Where stakeholders agreed that for governments to desist from borrowing, it will have to embark on capital expenditure that will promote GDP and also to maintain a realistic debt management model to help improve debt sustainability and fiscal prudence,” he said.
Also speaking, Victor Arokoyo, Head of Programmes, Christian Aid UK, Nigeria, said that CA was an international faith-based development and humanitarian organisation that is over 75 years, and 20 years in Nigeria by 2023.
“ CA is an organisation that has a vision to see a life where there is no poverty, where people can live a life to fullness and believe that poverty is not a product of nature but systemic manipulation of the economy system.
“In line with our economy, social and political justice, we are part of the tax, justice and governance platform in Nigeria.
“So, one of the things we are doing around that governance platform is the campaign for private creditors to begin to see the need not to give Nigeria loan again because their loan is costing government the inability to respond to public services.
“So, we are interested in widening the knowledge of citizens about this issue and possibly for citizens to begin to demand from the government the need to look inward.
“Let us have some period of pains so that we can have gains tomorrow rather than to have gains now, and our children will have pain tomorrow” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the product of a 12-month project centred on revealing and challenging the role of private creditors in hindering people’s recoveries to enhance the urgency with which the international community must address sovereign debt crises(NAN)