APC justifies rising external debt

2 months ago 33

• Says it is for benefit of Nigerians

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The All Progressives Congress national leadership has justified the fresh request for external borrowing by the federal government.

The People’s Democratic Party while reacting to the loan request before the Senate accused the APC led administration of lack of empathy for Nigerians whom it noted would ultimately bear the brunt of the repayment.

The fresh external loans for Senate approval are in the total sum of $4,054,476,863.00, plus Euro €710,m and Grant Component of $125m.

The APC in a statement on Thursday signed by its National Secretary, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe said the “borrowings by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government is for the good of the country as the money is used to develop critical infrastructure that is stimulating economic growth, generating jobs, reducing poverty and improving the general well-being of the citizenry.”

He noted that “the borrowings are designed to finance the deficit in the 2021 budget to enable the realisation of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan that touches key sectors such as infrastructure development, boosting healthcare services, strengthening agriculture to deepen food security, more energy generation and continued tackling of the ravaging COVID-19 global pandemic.”

The statement further claimed that unlike the period when PDP was in power and borrowed funds could not be accounted for the Buhari administration “borrowing is hinged on genuine needs and based on the necessity to strengthen the foundation of the national economy and achieve the desired primary purpose of the government of uplifting the living standard of the citizens.”

The statement further read in part: “It was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and am ammunition to fight a raging insurgency were misappropriated and diverted to fund PDP activities; and the borrowed money ultimately found its way to the pockets of cronies, friends and family members of administration officials.

Nigeria is still servicing a $460 million loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract awarded in August 2010.

“Nigerians should also reflect and recall that the PDP had in its 16 years of misrule pushed the country into a dark ditch of insolvency, and a period in which most state governments could not pay workers salaries, not even the minimum wage, or settle contractors’ bills and cater for patients in hospitals, to name a few.

“In a welcome and commendable change, the Buhari-led administration through its economic management skills bailed out states to pay salary backlogs and embarked on large-scale infrastructure development projects that stimulated the economy and exited the era of insolvency and recession caused by the ineptitude of the PDP administration.

“The APC welcomes the continued and multi-partisan cooperation which exists between the executive and legislature on national issues. This will ensure good governance, particularly in the area of economic development. The country and citizens are the ultimate beneficiaries.”

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