Donald Duke, the Social Democratic Party presidential candidate, has said that Nigeria was bleeding from the indebtedness of the nation to China and other countries.
Duke made this known while fielding questions from newsmen in SDC secretariat in Abuja on Monday.
The Presidential Candidate, while saying that the Federal Government was taking foreign loans because the interest rates were low, emphasized the need to indigenise the economy
He admonished the Federal government to regulate bank rates in the country to make credit cheaper and affordable for entrepreneurs to grow the economy.
Duke pointed out further that the about 30 per cent interest being charged on loans made it hard for businesses to grow and generate employment.
“Indebtedness to any nation is worrisome, not just China. The concept of independence is being able to stand on your own; you are not independent if you are indebted to other nations. We need to strengthen our own local trade and when you trade, there should be a balance.
“You cannot always import without exporting; you cannot always breathe in without breathing out, that’s the law of nature; there must be harmony. If you keep on importing and you are not exporting to have a balance of trade, then your country will haemorrhage; we are haemorrhaging.” he said.
The former Cross Rivers State governor added that Nigeria could manufacture all that she needs if the problem of power supply and high interest rate on loan.
He said, “All the things that we import, can’t we make them in Nigeria? Each time you import, you are sustaining a job overseas. Our government goes to countries like China to borrow because it is cheaper there.
“But you can also do the same thing here; you can regulate interest rates here and ensure that credit is affordable; we need to indigenise this economy built by Nigerians for Nigerians,” the lawyer stated.
Duke pledged that if elected in 2019, his government would address gas flaring, make credit affordable and available to Nigerians, and invest in the housing sector, which he said could generate millions of jobs.
“Already, if you take the housing sector, you have over 17 million housing shortage. If you decide to build one million houses every year, you will employ over 10 million to 15 million people; it will still take you 17 years to catch up. So, even though it is a problem, the sector still provides opportunities,” he argued.
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