PDP Queries FG, Buhari over N24.38tn Debt Profile

0

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has queried the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government and the presidency over alleged ‘unwholesome borrowings’ leading to the escalation of the nation debt stock from N12.12 trillion in 2015 to an overburdening N24.38 trillion in 2018.

The main opposition party has called on the National Assembly to commence a system-wide investigation into the borrowings by the present administration, particularly the terms of the borrowing and the handling of the funds.

The party in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, described as “saddening and devastating” that President Muhammadu Buhari administration, in its manifest incompetence and lack of initiative to stimulate and run a productive economy, relies on heavy borrowings and unbearable tax regimes, which have crippled productivity, caused untold hardship and mortgaged the economic future of the nation.

He added that the Buhari-led administration therefore has a huge explanation to make to Nigerians for its borrowing spree, especially as it cannot point to any meaningful development project into which the borrowed funds were invested.

Ologbondiyan noted that this was particularly against the backdrop of allegations in the public space that the borrowed funds, which were taken as development funds, were diverted to 2019 general election campaign activities of the APC, a huge part of which ended in private pockets of corrupt APC leaders.

He stated: “Since President Buhari assumed office in 2015, there has been a culture of unexplained borrowings leading to a steep rise in the debt stock from N17.5 trillion in 2016 to N21.72 trillion in 2017 and a huge N24.387 trillion in 2018.

“It is shocking and completely insupportable that our nation’s debt had risen from N21.72 trillion in December 2017 to N24.387 trillion in December 2018, showing an accumulation of a whopping N2.66 trillion in a space of one year.

“This is in addition to direct frittering of public funds through the alleged N1.4 trillion sleazy oil subsidy regime, the looted N9 trillion detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, the alleged N33 billion fraud in the handling of funds meant for the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East, among other sleazes.

“The National Assembly should also save the future of our nation by restricting the Buhari administration from taking further loans on behalf of our country until explanations are provided on the terms and handling of the borrowed funds.”

Ologbondiyan added that Nigerians cannot afford to continue to bear burden of an incompetent and insensitive administration and that is why they eagerly await the retrieval of the stolen mandate at the Presidential election petition tribunal.