Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, Minister of Finance of the Second Republic, revealed how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) borrowed money from Nigeria in 1974.
Speaking when former Kaduna Senator Shehu Sani paid him a private visit to his home in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, Alhaji said he signed the loan agreement when he was permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Although the former finance minister did not disclose the amount involved, Vanguard quoted it:
“I mourn Nigeria for what it has become today. The country has vast resources which, if properly harnessed, could take the country to greater heights.
In 1974, when I was permanent secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, the IMF approached us for a loan. I signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria. Unfortunately, today government spending plunged us into recession. ”
He added that Nigeria’s excessive dependence on oil was a result of the economic problems the country was plunged into. “Besides oil and agriculture, Nigeria had industries that earned it foreign exchange. Agriculture and industries were allowed to retreat and when global fuel prices collapsed, we are nowhere today. “
The former minister noted that 36 states were too difficult for Nigeria to run and each of them had become breeding grounds for corruption.
“The more states we have, the more corruption there is. We should have between six and twelve states. We should cut our coat according to our size, ”he said.
Sharing his take on the ongoing clamor for secession in the country, Alhaji said Nigeria should stay united, noting “there is nothing better for us than a united Nigeria. We have potentials that could be harnessed and enjoyed together.