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PDP opposes FG’s plan to invest pension fund on infrastructure

By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh, Abuja
21 December 2019   |   3:36 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday condemned the move by the Federal Government to use the N2.1 trillion pension fund to develop infrastructure across the country.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday condemned the move by the Federal Government to use the N2.1 trillion pension fund to develop infrastructure across the country.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the move could worsen the country’s level of indebtedness.The National Economic Council (NEC) had last Thursday received a recommendation from the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led committee that the Federal Government could use the fund to implement capital projects, including power, which has been a major challenge in the country for decades.

But Ologbondiyan alleged that the Federal Government was yet to justify the huge debt it had taken in the recent past.He said: “We cannot as a party support any move to dip hands in the pension funds to implement infrastructural projects. Take a look at the living conditions of Nigerians. Has there been any improvement? It is the same old story. With the ruling party’s debt servicing rate of N2.7 trillion a year, it will take us 15 years to get off the debt this administration is plunging us into.”

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government should bury its head in shame, saying the government has failed to justify the huge borrowing incurred by the administration in the past five years.“In spite of their huge spending, how has this translated into good living for Nigerians? What we can see is the ostentatious living of APC members.

“The PDP as a party is worried about the sorry state of the nation under the APC misrule – the humongous corruption, the biting economic hardship, hunger, starvation, disease, collapsed infrastructure, human rights violation and attack on institutions of democracy,” he added.He also flayed the ruling party over its alleged poor management of the nation’s resources, saying: “Unlike the PDP which grew the economy to be one of the fastest growing in the world, APC has crippled and turned our nation into the world poverty capital due to incompetence and corruption.

“Instead of growing the economy, the APC is only interested on accumulation of debt and inflicting pain on Nigerians through imposition of multiple taxes, increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) and tariffs, among others.”

Ologbondiyan also counselled the administration to embark on sensitisation before the January 2, 2020, take off date for the full implementation of the Tax Identity Number (TIN) policy even as he expressed fears that most Nigerians would find it difficult to do financial transactions with their banks once the policy takes off.

The policy, he stressed will  “disrupt their economic activities and get families stranded immediately after the yuletide.”On the party’s position on zoning ahead of the 2023 presidential election, Ologbondiyan said the party was embarking on strategic reforms and repositioning, noting that the leadership of the party would make its position public at the appropriate time.“We have not reached a decision on where our presidential candidate will come from. The other party understands politics not governance. What we are concerned about now are reforms to further reposition the party ahead of 2023,” he added.

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