The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has replied criticism by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its borrowing spree, saying the act “is for the good of the country.”
In a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by the National Secretary Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, the ruling party said unlike in the brazen looting days of the 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.”
Akpanudoedehe said it was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and ammunition to fight a raging insurgency was 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.
“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.
“From the forgone, 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 government of uplifting the living standard of the citizens.
“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 adminstration 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 administation.”
While Justifying the borrowing further, the ruling party said it “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.”