Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, stated on Monday that if elected president of Nigeria, he might also take out loans from various sources.
The Labour Party presidential candidate, while speaking on Nigeria’s debt profile, said that there was nothing wrong with borrowing but that his administration could only borrow for investment.
The Site News reports that Obi said this yesterday during his address at the Editors Forum, an initiative of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, held in Lagos.
He said: “Every nation borrows; individual businesses borrow all over the world. What is important is what we use the borrowed money to do. If you borrow for consumption, that is where we have a problem.”
The former governor insisted that borrowed money should be invested well to increase the country’s gross domestic product and per capita income. “I won’t say I will not borrow, but I will only borrow for investment, and I will explain to Nigerians the need for the borrowing,” he added, promising to reduce the nation’s debt burden.
Asked to speak about his increasing support base, Obi said he doesn’t know the total number of supporters he currently has, but that he would rather die than fail his supporters.
He said: “I did not know many of them, but I vow not to disappoint them. I am determined not to fail them. I would rather die than fail them. I am going to serve them.”
Speaking on the many challenges bedevilling Nigeria, the presidential hopeful said the right leadership would eliminate most of the challenges by turning the country from consumption to production.
Obi opined that Nigeria was going through the challenges mainly because it was a consuming instead of a producing country. According to him, if the nation is productive, three-quarters of its challenges can be solved.
He listed the challenges to include unemployment, poverty, criminality and insecurity.
Obi said: “We cannot have that number of people living in poverty and not have criminality, banditry and so on. We must remove sharing formula and replace it with the production formula.”
According to him, Nigeria had fertile lands and the population to do well in agriculture. He reiterated that the hope of this country is the vast uncultivated land and not the oil we see as citizens.
Obi said: “My commitment is to put Nigeria into production. It is not acceptable that we cannot feed ourselves.
“We must get the country to work; all it requires is the leadership that understands and can drive the process. I can do that.”