A Senator-elect and businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, has said that it was possible for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to repay the nation’s debt and reflate the economy within 90 days.
The incoming representative of Ondo South Senatorial District said this on Tuesday on a Channels Television programme.
Ibrahim, who spoke on: “Politics Today,” in answer to a question on how President Tinubu will handle the economy with over N70 trillion debt as revealed by the Debt Management Office, said: “Do you think that will be a serious problem to a president-elect?
“Handling Nigeria’s debt?
“What is debt ratio of the GDP of a country?
“Nigeria’s debt is less than 30 or 31 per cent, so you have a window of about 70 per cent to borrow more money.
“What are you doing?
“ou are wasting your time not borrowing.
“Dubai is owing $157 million.
“They are a population of about 12 million people, three million indigenous, and they borrowed $168 million.
“They developed all the infrastructures.
“Everything is fine in Dubai today and then they start paying the loan back.
“So, why will it be difficult for Tinubu to pay back the loan?
“I can give give him a structure to pay back the loan in 90 days.
“All debts paid back in 90 days.
“I will let that go because of my love for Nigeria.
“I spent six years in Cambridge.
“I paid my school fees.
“Nigeria didn’t pay my school fees.
“For whatever it is worth for the purpose of our fellow citizens, all you need to do is call about five to 10 Exim Banks, including China Exim Bank, and then take a loan 10 times or five times more than you are owing currently and then do a bridge gap financing and then pay off what you are owing and then you have surplus and then do a repayment programme for 40 years and then have moratorium period for 10 years and then you are out of the net.
“So you have freed many things.
“So you can negotiate with the creditor.
“So, because I am going to pay you now, all the debts, give me 30 per cent discount.
“They do that.
“So, go to five, six, consultant of Exim banks.
“I have my friends there who we did MBA and PHD together.
“These are Directors of Operations.
“Let’s get Consultants.
“People that have knowledge.
“Let’s get about five or six Exim banks together, give a loan of about $100 billion, pay the one you are owing now.
“That means you are footing for the loan.
“Then the $100 billion loan, put on 40 years repayment, do a moratorium of 10 years and then you don’t have any obligation again.”
When told by the anchor of the programme, Seun Okinbaloye, that it sounded so easy, Ibrahim replied: “Yes it is easy.”
Okinbaloye probed further: “For a country that the past government says that revenue has been a major problem and you think that it so easy to approach these banks and they will just give you?
Ibrahim responded: “They will give you because you are having a 40 years repayment schedule, 10 years moratorium period.
“Within the 10 years, put your house in order.
“Because you will now free 50 per cent of that debt servicing in your budget to zero.
“In year one, you have money to develop the economy.
“You don’t have to convert complexity.
“You need knowledgeable people around you.
“Knowledge is not something you can just get on the road.
“You have to work for it and get it out.
“So, if you are about to say to five, six Exim banks, mind you not one, tou are looking for 40 years loan repayments, 10 years moratorium, you do a bridge finance, even you can say borrow me because I have got a bridge finance, then pay your existing debts so you get your debts to zero.
“Then your 30 per cent debt servicing from your budget will be free.
“Then you have 40 years to pay back, 10 years moratorium then come back home and say where did we get it wrong.
“How many oil revenue can we get?
“How many alternative revenue can we get?
“How can we diversify the economy?
“If we are able to get this then within 10 years, we a can be able to have a fantastic, holistic, well mapped financial plan.”
Asked if he has you sold this idea to President Tinubu, Ibrahim said: “Well, I have not spoken to Tinubu in recent times.
“The last time I spoke to him was when we were doing campaign on abandoned project and he agreed with me.
“We had some classes in his bedroom.
“He is a fantastic leader and a good listener.
“He was there to implement some of my ideas, but of course I ran away to the riverine area to look for votes to come to the Senate.
“This one I gave you I gave you for free.
“I would have been able to charge you some hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars for just a simple advice.
“Some people are going to Cambridge to study.
“I am the first human being to get a Doctor from Cambridge since 1209 and I finished my thesis three and half years and graduated, six months behind schedule.
“I have masters in Mega Projects in Oxford, I have MBA in Cambridge, I have LLM in Harvard.
“Common, I have invested in knowledge.
“So, if I am telling you all of this, it is what Nigeria can do.”
When told that as a member of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, he should not demand consultancy fees, the businessman said: “Did APC pay my school fees?
“Did APC call me in Cambridge when I was suffering and riding on bicycle?
“I had to put down private jets and ride bicycle, crying at night, sleeping on the floor.
“It doesn’t matter, you can’t force me to give my knowledge.”
When challenged on what the essence of his going into politics will be if he can’t offer advice, Ibrahim responded: “It doesn’t matter.
“I will give my knowledge.
“You have to be appreciative.
“You can’t force me to give my knowledge.
“You have to come to me and ask and give me the respect.
“Then I will give you my knowledge.
“If you can’t do that, then I won’t.
“Even if you are my son, I will not give you.
“It is not easy to come by.”