Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the present economic realities in the country is enough justification for $29.9billion external borrowing being sought for by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The Senate had earlier turned down the external loan request when it was sent by President Buhari on the grounds that he failed to include details of the terms of the facility and the sectors it would be deployed.
However, in a statement issued by APC publicity unit, the national Chairman, Odigie-Oyegun, was quoted as having defended the Buhari’s move saying that Nigeria must borrow to invest in infrastructure and grow the economy.
The APC National Chairman who spoke on Sunday night after receiving award presented to him by the Warri Choral Society at the Muson Centre in Lagos, said the borrowings will not be used to pay salaries.
“If you read the newspapers, you hear the president being advised to pump money into the economy. So the question is where is the money coming from? Simple! It has to come from somewhere including borrowing – both internal and external. To get this country going again, you have to pay contractors. Some contractors have not been paid for 4, 5, 6, 10 years.
“So long as the borrowing is not used to pay salaries which the President Buhari administration will not do, but invested to create opportunities, solve our problems of power and things like that. To allow people to have money to consume, to buy goods, to pay for services so that factories can produce. So it is that cycle. We must kick-start the economy and to kick-start it we need money, lots of money.” The APC National Chairman told journalists after the concert. Oyegun also said the ongoing fight against corruption was necessary for the country to make progress.
“That is a task that must be accomplished because it is at the bottom of all the ills of this country. When you are corrupt, you are immoral, when you are corrupt, you don’t have ethics, when you are corrupt, you lose the distinction between right and wrong. When you are corrupt, even life does not mean anything to you. So, we must get it under serious control for this nation to have hope of making any progress.”
“I have had the esteem pleasure of being associated with the Warri Choral Society. I got to know that they deliver the kind of music that relaxes me, that transports me and comforts me. The date of this event cannot have been chosen more fortuitously.
“It is absolutely perfect, given the chain of events that have been reported in the newspapers almost on a daily basis. There has been a gradual de-escalation of the political atmosphere and I think this event is just capping it,” he said after receiving the lifetime achievement award.