Aj. Dagga Tolar

With a deficit of N5.2 trillion, and N3.3 trillion for debt services, leave recurrent expenditure at N5.6 trillion with capital expenditure at N4.1 trillion. The MSA in her publication SOLIDARITY May, 2021 Edition had aptly described the so-called 2021 Buhari’s budget of ‘RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE’, to be nothing else but a budget of ‘CONSOLIDATING POVERTY AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT OF THE ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY’, which aims for nothing than “to make mincemeat of the working masses.”

The same is true of the 2022 budget of N13.98 trillion. With expected revenue of N8.76 trillion, debt servicing will gulp N5.22 trillion with a projected borrowing of N5.02 trillion. Like in 2021, the 2022 budget is a budget deficit at a figure of N6.26 trillion, with a prideful disdain that it is merely 3.3 % of Gross Domestic Product (GPD), when in reality the burden will be shifted on the shoulder of the working masses. This will be in the form of non-creation of significant new jobs to remedy the mass unemployment figure that is currently placed at a figure of 33.3%, multiple taxes, inflation rise etc.

In the year 2022, we are faced with a deficit budget that the government will borrow more than it has projected to borrow as the case of 2021 demonstrated. It was to e existing debt, which will leave it with no option, but to turn to the working masses and squeeze as much from them. The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed puts it sharply when she states as follow: “the most viable solution to our fiscal challenge, therefore, remains to grow our revenues and plug all leakages.”

The key message therein is that everything will be done to “grow our revenue”, which if translated in layman’s language means that the working masses should prepare for more attacks on their conditions of living. The Buhari-led regime is therefore engaged in a double-speak when it falsely claims that with the same budget, 100 million Nigerians will be lifted from poverty. This is grandstanding of the highest order, if anything it aims to condemn more people into poverty.

The budget, year in year out, fails to address the question of the high cost of governance, with the ruling elites calling on the working masses to brace up for social cuts, while it directly increases the allocation of the high cost of governance. It is no longer news that more than one-third of the country’s budget is apportioned “to the largesse and excess earnings of elected public officials at the dire need for funds for the economy and the entire needs of the working masses.”

Even at that, it didn’t stop the National Assembly from unilaterally increasing its allocation with a figure of 6 billion nairas in 2021 making it a total of N134 billion and you would think workers would benefit from it. It is NO! Parliamentary workers in the National Assembly have had to organize an action to force the payment of allowances due to them. This is indicating the flagged out “recovery” of the economy the budget is positioned at for the ruling elites, their cronies and members of the Billionaire club. On top of this, a lot of the working masses will continue to be at receiving end of poverty and economic hardship.


From a debt profile of 10.31 billion dollars in 2015 when the Buhari-led regime came into power, the country is now saddled with a total debt of $32.85 billion, a 218% increase. It is extremely scandalous that the regime works with practically no existing plan from this debt burden.

Socialists had openly opposed the Obasanjo regime in 2005 when it was under the watch of the then Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala, who had handed out the sum of USD 12 billion to have Nigeria debt, then, at a figure of $30 billion written off. This is against the obvious need for cash by the working masses to be used to meet all of our needs.

Debt servicing for the IFI is a ploy to lure debtor countries to access more loans, while the existing debts are pushed forward for payment with an additional percentage increment thereby guaranteeing permanent future access to funds of the debtor countries. This is the logic of capitalism that milks poor countries to feed the greed for cash by the creditor nations and institutions.

But when apologists of the regime say to us that they are borrowing for “infrastructural development” is a complete ruse. Kingsley Moghalu, this debt burden that has been unleashed on the country on the need for infrastructural development has “grossly underperformed”. (https://guardian.ng/news/stop-borrowing-to-avoid-costly-restructuring-moghalu-advises-buhari/).

Surprisingly, someone like Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank can claim ignorance of the logic of the capitalist system that he fully subscribes to, which is what drives the whole essence of debt servicing not to exist or employ it for infrastructural development. Initially, yes, but the debtor nation gets sucked in. It occasions the loss of sovereignty as a policy framework of microeconomic and macroeconomic are dictated by the creditors to achieve repayment.

This is the role assigned to the International Financial Institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in keeping capitalism afloat internationally, which it does with its impossible interest repayment and debt servicing payment plans. The consequential sides of these loans are to ensnare the debtor countries into the trap of the inability to pay. And when new loans are offered, it is with the logic of debtor countries to be servicing debts.

This explains why the Buhari regime does not see the danger for the country to be servicing debts with as much as 99% of every dollar, the country earns as revenue from oil. Now, Buhari has turned to plead for debt forgiveness. Speaking at the 76th United Nations (UN) General Assembly, he says that: “vital public financial resources are allocated to external debt servicing and repayments at the expense of domestic health and financing for critical developmental needs,” (https://www.thecable.ng/buhari-calls-for-debt-cancellation-at-un-general-assembly).

But Buhari is mistaken. The reality is that at no time is capitalism willing to play Santa Claus. To recognize the overall need for health, education, development of the means of production etc. that will impact all sectors of the economy is important.

While there is a need to take this all-important step, this is not an option before the Buhari-led regime nor can any wing of the ruling elites be expected to take up this agenda without first breaking away from capitalism and embracing the idea of scientific socialism. For only with the nationalization of the commanding heights of the economy will the resources become freely accessible and make available the funds to develop the economy.