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Parties tackle FG over rising loan profile, decry N17.1 trillion foreign debts

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
10 February 2023   |   4:04 am
The People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), yesterday, berated the Federal Government for its overdependence on external and internal borrowing to manage the economy.

Dollar. PHOTO: AFP

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), yesterday, berated the Federal Government for its overdependence on external and internal borrowing to manage the economy.

While the PDP labeled excessive borrowing by the Federal Government as outrageous and opaque, the LP believed that there is lack of transparency in the country’s foreign loan process.

Speaking, PDP Presidential Campaign Spokesman, Charles Aniagwu, during a TV programme, said Nigeria’s foreign loan has risen three times more under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration when compared to successive governments combined.

He noted that the N17.1 trillion foreign loans borrowed by the present administration were outrageous, lamenting that the country was spending as much as N310 billion in excess of what it earned to service the loans during the last quarter of 2022.

Noting that the details of government borrowing were opaque, Aniagwu expressed dissatisfaction regarding the area the funds were deployed and other conditionalities attached to some borrowed funds.

He said: “Atiku is not just looking at where we are owing. I recall that I was part of those who travelled to China to secure a $1 billion loan for the purpose of building the Abuja/Kaduna railway and four different airports. We need to be very clear as to what we were taking and the terms of payment.

“The number of years you have as a moratorium. And we calculated then that the revenue you are going to get both from the rail track as well as the different airports will even be more than enough to pay back what we have borrowed.”

Also Speaking, Spokesperson for the LP Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Dr Yunusa Tanko, decried lack of transparency in the country’s foreign loan process over the years by other political parties.

He expressed optimism that his principal, Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the party, has the capacity of turning the fortune of the nation around should he emerge the President.

He said: “Two political parties over the years have supervised the issue of lack of transparency in management of our debts over the years. When you add both of them together, you will have 24 years system supervision on lack of transparency functionally generated over the years.

They are also supervising the issue of oil theft that has led this country into a dangerous situation.

“So what do we intend to do differently when we win the election? Peter Obi intends to block all leakages and generate revenue within the society and settle these debts that the two political parties have put the country into.

“We will subsidise production and subsidise consumption. What Peter Obi and his vice intend to do is to change the narrative from a consuming nation to a production nation.”

On his part, the National Youth Spokesperson, Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council, Aliyu Audu, said that its candidate in the forthcoming presidential election, Senator Bola Tinubu will not borrow in dollars to build infrastructure that will stimulate growth and improve the standard of living of the average Nigerian.

“The health of an economy is determined by certain parameters, it is not by the size of your loan.
We will not source for money in dollars. There are other ways of ensuring we have these infrastructure deployed without necessarily going through the stress of foreign loans,” he said.