According to reports, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has opposed plans by the Federal Government to borrow $29.960 billion.
The party said government should first of all, explain to Nigerians what it has done with funds purportedly recovered from allegedly corrupt past government officials.
The PDP said this in a statement issued yesterday night by National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye.
The party was reacting to letters written by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly seeking authorisation to borrow $29.960 billion and virement of N180 billion to be appropriated for special intervention to funding of ‘critical recurrent and capital items’.
The party called on President Buhari to explain the level of implementation of the 2016 budget to Nigerians and that he must itemise projects he intends to fund with the loan he is seeking.
The opposition party called on the two chambers of the National Assembly to reject President Buhari’s request, which described as anti-people, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration does not have genuine interest in the well being of Nigeria and Nigerians.
The statement reads in part:”This Government budgeted the Sum of N6.07trn for the 2016 Fiscal Year with deficit of N2.22trn and according to the breakdown, N1.8trn was budgeted for Capital Expenditure and President Buhari is now seeking to borrow over N9trn ($29.960b) for ‘critical infrastructure’. This is absurd and way outside the Government budgetary provisions for capital expenditure and must be rejected by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“Nigerians will recall that the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in June 2016 made public through a press statement, an account of recovered looted funds between May 2015 to May 2016 amounting to the sums of N78.3b, $185.1m, £3.5m and €11,250m in cash; while others were under interim forfeiture. What happened to the recovered funds?Or is it the same funds the EFCC and DSS are planting in houses of opposition figures and Justices instead of channeling it into the economy? In addition, the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu recently confirmed our position when he stated that the Commission recovered more money in 8 months than it recovered in 12 years.
“Nigerians need to know how much revenue government has been able to generate from crude oil, non-oil and independent revenue sources since assumption of office from May 2015 to September 2016. This clarification will boost confidence of Nigerians on the management of their resources especially in this period of recession before thinking of engaging in external borrowing.
“It is no gain saying that the APC led Federal Government has left no stone unturned in castigating the PDP’s 16 years as wasted even with its obvious achievements; one of which was getting reprieve from the Paris Club of Creditors.The APC led Federal Government is again taking Nigeria prior to Year 2005 when external debt burden derailed the growth of Nigeria economy and weakened the GDP before the total cancellation of her debt. This proposed action of the APC’s Government will be a great injustice to the citizens of this Country now and in the future if they are plunged back into debt.”