Second Republic Minister of Finance, Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, has revealed that the International Monetary Fund, IMF, borrowed money from Nigeria in 1974, stating that he signed the loan agreement when he was Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Alhaji, who made this disclosure on Thursday when the senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani paid him a private visit in his residence in Sokoto, however did not disclose the amount borrowed at the time
According to him, “I weep for Nigeria for what it has become today. The country has vast resources that if well harnessed, could lead the country to greater heights.
‘’In 1974 when I was permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, the IMF approached us for a loan. I signed the agreement on behalf of Nigeria. Unfortunately, today expenses of government have driven us into recession,’’ he said.
The ex-minister added that Nigeria’s over-reliance on crude oil was responsible for the economic challenges the country is grappling with.
“Aside from oil and agriculture, Nigeria had industries that were earning foreign exchange for it. Agriculture and the industries were allowed to recede and when global fuel prices crashed, we are nowhere today,” he said.
Alhaji further noted that the present 36 federating units of the country were too many and had bred corruption, stressing that the expenditure of government was on the high side.
He said: “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.”
On the agitation for Biafra, the former minister said Nigeria should remain united, maintaining that “there is nothing better for us than a united Nigeria.
“We have potentials that could be harnessed and enjoyed together,” he added.