$5.5bn External Loan: We are not borrowing to pay salaries, APC replies PDP 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to obtain a $5.5 billion foreign loan is not meant to pay salaries or bogus projects like what happened during the last regime of the People Democratic Party (PDP).

The ruling party explained that government typically resort to borrowing to finance economic development projects because taxation and other revenue streams may not necessarily provide sufficient funds for economic development.

A statement signed Sunday in Abuja by the party’s National Publicity Secretary Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said successive national budgets of the APC administration has prioritised and increased budgetary allocation for capital projects as one of the strategic ways to stimulate economic growth in the country.

PDP had in a recent statement criticised plan by the Buhari administration to obtain a $5.5 billion foreign loan, claiming that it “meritoriously” governed the country for 16 years and “handed over a buoyant economy to the APC in 2015.”

But responding through a statement, APC said: “The recent borrowing plans proposed by the President Buhari administration is no different as the President has clearly stated in his request to the National Assembly that the loan will be used to finance the 2017 budget deficit and invest in critical and verifiable infrastructure project which will ultimately grow the economy.

“If the PDP thinks that by spewing falsehood and unsubstantiated claims, the Party will return to power in 2019, then the PDP needs to seriously rethink its strategies. Nigerians are not gullible and can differentiate between a Party who brought the country to where it is today and the Party clearing the rot and rebuilding the country.

“As the National Assembly considers the proposed borrowing plan submitted by the President, the APC calls on members of the Senate and House of Representatives to rise above sundry sentiments and approve the request which is pro-people and in the overall best interest of the country.”

APC recalled that even “when crude sold above $100, the immediate-past PDP-led administration struggled to build savings. In addition, the excess crude account was misspent. Poor capital expenditure meant badly-needed infrastructure development was put on hold. This forced construction companies with government contracts to cut back and sack thousands of workers.”

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