The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Abdullahi Adamu, has come under fire from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for claiming that the Federal Government may borrow “from here to eternity.”
The PDP spokesman, Debo Ologunagba, on Tuesday, criticised the party leader for using the loans, which he said were for consumption, to defend himself.
The government owes more than N41.60 trillion in foreign debts, and President Muhammadu Buhari has come under fire for taking out loans to fund national infrastructure projects.
On Monday, Adamu remarked that nations like the United States and the United Kingdom borrow from international financial institutions to suit their demands. He was speaking on a Trust Television programme at the time.
Adamu stated that Nigeria could borrow money to expand its infrastructure, just like other nations.
He said, “I remember a programme we had here, I told you and I thought you believed me that I have no quarrel, issues with government borrowing. Government can borrow from here to eternity. The American government borrows, the Canadian government borrows, the United Kingdom borrows, France borrows money from the World Bank and such other institutions.
“You also have to appreciate the fact of the level of revenue accruing to the government, oil is the main thing. We want to see how best we can diversify. These issues affecting the revenue accruing to the government are not our making no matter how good we are, they happen.”
Ologunagba, however, criticised Adamu’s position and insisted that the APC-led government had misused the monies it had obtained from foreign lenders.
The PDP spokesperson claimed that previous PDP administrations had borrowed in the past as well, but noted that it was for a legitimate reason and that they had paid it back.
He stated, “Nigerians knew when they were free of debt, they knew when the nation paid off its debts and they knew the government that was borrowing. Borrowing responsibly and investing in people is good but when you borrow and you convert it into personal use. Their own is to borrow and steal, the PDP borrowed and invested.
“The transformation in the airports was the project of the PDP. We opened up the economy; the privatisation scheme opened up the economy and Nigeria was almost the number one destination point for investors. So, it is irresponsible and we are not expecting anything more from the APC government other than this level of impunity and recklessness.
“It is completely irresponsible for the APC chairman to say they can borrow till eternity. Why would the chairman of the party say that other than the fact they have complete disregard for us, for knowledge and for capacity? Borrowing is part of life but you must borrow responsibly.”
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