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Nigeria May End Up Borrowing To Pay Salaries – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has
criticized the proposed oil benchmark of
Nigeria’s 2015 budget, saying it puts Nigeria’s
economy in a bad position.

Speaking on Wednesday, at the presentation of
an autobiography of the former president of
the Court of Appeal and pioneer chairman of
the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other
Related Offences Commission (ICPC), retired
Justice Mustapha Akanbi in Abuja, Obasanjo
said the country may end up borrowing to pay
salaries.

Although, the Federal Government had
proposed a review of the oil benchmark from
77.5 dollars to 73 dollars for the 2015 budget,
following continued decline in oil prices, the
former president, apparently oblivious of the
new development said “With the figure of $78
per barrel as benchmark, we will be in a bind
if oil price falls to $75 per barrel.

“I am made to understand that Saudi Arabia
used $68 as benchmark for the 2015 budget.
Our inadequate protection of almost all local
industries with heavy cost of energy has dealt
a hard blow on most indigenous industries,” he
pointed out.

Obasanjo said that if the country does not
expedite action and do something about the
current situation, it will get to a point where
Nigeria would not be able to fund its budget.
“We may have to borrow to pay salaries and
allowances”, he said.

He also described the administration of
President Goodluck Jonathan as one supportive
of corruption. This, he said has greatly harmed
the economy.

“For quite some time, the covered and hushed
up corruption has had its toll on the economy,”
he said.

He also stressed the need for Nigeria to
diversify its economy, saying “Our continued
heavy dependence on one commodity has not
adequately prepared us against any shock in
that one commodity in the international
plane.

The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes
stood at $73.70 a barrel on Wednesday.


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