Coming generations have no choice but to pay Africa’s debts – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed sadness over the debt profile of African countries.

Speaking on Wednesday at an event with the 2023 awardees of the Future Africa Leaders Foundation, an initiative of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the former president said the continent’s next generations would have no choice but to repay the debts.

A statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Thursday quoted him as saying the debt relief secured by Nigeria from the Paris Club during his tenure was allegedly mismanaged by successive administrations, plunging the country into huge debt.

“With the level of mismanagement of the previous debts written off for the country, it will be almost impossible for any administration to get similar gesture in the continent,” he said.

Describing debt as a trap that no individual or country should fall into, Obasanjo explained that leadership was the number one problem facing the continent.

“The coming generations will have no choice but to pay the current debt being incurred by different countries in the continent,” Obasanjo said.

At the event, the former President commended Oyakhilome for his effort in building leaders, saying, “A leader should be able to set good examples, be bold and courageous when making decisions, accept mistakes and learn from them as well as have a realistic dream.”

According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s total public debt rose to N87.91tn as of the end of the third quarter of 2023. Based on the data, total external debt stood at N31.98tn and domestic debt amounted to N55.93tn as of the period being reported.