PDP, Ndume kick over Buhari’s fresh loan request
The Peoples Democratic Party Party (PDP), yesterday, said with the alarming N35 trillion debt and 97.7 service-to-revenue ratio, President Muhammadu Buhari had allegedly mortgaged the future of Nigeria.
The main opposition party added that the declaration by Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Doyin Salami, that the country’s current debt level was “unmaintainable” had vindicated its position.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “The state of the nation revelation by Dr. Salami is a further pointer to the nation’s economic tragedy.
“Dr. Salami’s revelation only validates apprehensions that President Buhari, who is still borrowing more money, is completely disconnected from his economic team, while the corrupt cabal in his Presidency has taken advantage of the situation to pillage the vaults.”
The economic panel chair had pointed out that the Federal Government’s expenditure has been on the increase, at a faster pace than its revenue, adding that public debt was expanding on the back of growing fiscal deficits.
He had noted that from January to May 2021, actual fiscal deficit was N3.01 trillion, representing 53.8 per cent of total budgeted deficit for 2021.
The economist pointed out that macroeconomic stability, consistency of policy and regulation, sectoral reforms, human capital development and resolution of the security crisis were key to the economy’s ability to rebound. He also stated that the investment climate in the country currently faced major headwinds, as total foreign inflows remained low.
Justifying Salami’s submissions, the PDP, in its statement said: “It is distressing that despite the already terrifying situation, and with the further depreciation of our naira to N570 to a dollar, President Buhari is moving to take a fresh N2.66 trillion ($4 billion and €710 million) external loan, for very opaque purposes.”
IN a similar vein, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, has sought scrutiny of the loan request. The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain argued that a robust debate on the propriety of a new loan would address the concerns of Nigerians, who have since perceived the Senate as an appendage of the executive arm.