Ex-governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has shared his view on Nigeria’s inability to save, what the country is lacking in leadership and its propensity to squander capital revenue.
Peter Obi revealed that during the time of former president Goodluck Jonathan, governors rejected the several calls made by the likes of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance, and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi , former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to save for a rainy day.
The business tycoon, said he is not against the Muhammadu Buhari government’s plan to borrow, but was against borrowing without a plan.
Speaking to the media on the one particular issue which has brought the country into it’s current economic mess, Peter Obi said:
“I was in government when the likes of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Aganga, Sanusi were crying that we should save; we collectively said we don’t want savings, and we are now in this mess. We cannot afford to increase it by going to borrow without a clear road map on what we would use it for.
“Ngozi-Iweala was crying meeting after meeting, let’s save money; we need to save for a rainy day. We said no. Some said this woman should not be found near this country.
“People start saving in crisis. Go and check most nations that save.They started it in crisis situation, because they could see the point of not saving yesterday, and that is where we are.
“I have said it before that even if we saved five percent of all our oil earnings from 1960 to date, which is about $1.2 trillion, considering a compound interest of about five percent, we should have about $150 billion today.”
However, the ex-governor believe it is not too late to implement on the saving plan that could help prepare Nigeria for tomorrow and also enable government borrow.
“Imagine what would have been happening if we were in that situation. That was 56 years ago; we have 44 years to our 100th year of independence.
“What I am saying is that if we decide today to save on 50 percent of our budgeted output of 2.2 million barrels per day, if we decide to save on just 1 million barrels per day, with our earnings at $50 per barrel, in the next 44 years, we would be at 50 to 60 billion dollars.”
The renowned governor who is largely adored by the people of Anambra for his good leadership in the state has always advocated for boycotting unnecessary expenses in governance. During his reign as the governor of Anambra he had been seen on several occasions, traveling with fewer – no more than 2 or 3 entourages, and carrying his own luggage.