The All Progressives Congress (APC) has justified recent request by President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow an additional $4bn and €710M from foreign lenders, saying the loans would be judiciously used to finance development projects such that would benefit Nigerians.
The ruling party noted that by bridging infrastructural deficits, the country, particularly her citizens would thrive as critical infrastructure projects would stimulate the economy and create jobs in the nation’s interest.
The APC National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, said that contrary to insinuations from some quarters that the president, alongside his cabinet was planning to allegedly siphoned the plan borrowing, noting that fund was to further take Nigerians out of poverty.
According to him, 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.
“Unlike in the brazen looting days of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), 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.
“From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that the 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.
“It was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and 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 $460m loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television contract awarded in August 2010,” the APC scribe said in a statement on Wednesday.
He urged Nigerians to recall that the PDP had, in its 16 years of misrule, allegedly 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.