There are legacy projects nationwide to show for the loans taken by the President Muhammad administration as opposed to the $63bn debt left behind by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that the current administration has a good record of borrowing responsibly for projects that are visible, contrary to PDP’s position on the government’s borrowing plan.
“In its usual character, the opposition party has latched on to President Buhari’s request for a fresh $4bn loan as an addendum to the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan earlier approved by the National Assembly, to accuse the government of reckless borrowing.
“This is yet another instance of disinformation by a party that was in power at a time the country made its highest-ever revenue from oil but is keen on discrediting a government that has done far more with far less in six years than previous administrations did in sixteen years.
“If not partisan consideration, how would PDP assert authoritatively that loans taken by the Buhari administration were being diverted to private pockets.
“We make bold to say that the claim that there is nothing to show for all the loans taken by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration is simply a lame attempt by a party that is fast losing relevance to injure the credibility of the ruling party ahead of the next cycle of elections.
“If not, why would PDP be so dismissive of an administration that has in six years completed two major railway projects it inherited, including one that was abandoned for over 30 years, and also began and completed another railway project linking the commercial centre of Lagos with Ibadan.
“Other legacy projects that are either springing up or completed under President Buhari’s watch and which were tied to loans, include the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kaduna- Kano highway and the four Airport Terminal Expansion projects”, it added.
BMO also noted that Nigerians deserve to know what PDP officials did with all the loans that were secured before 2015.
“We find it interesting that the former ruling party is demanding what it described as an ‘open investigative hearing’ on all the loans taken by the President.
“But we wonder why PDP wants the probe limited to the Buhari era when it would be more appropriate to have a holistic investigation of all the domestic and external loans taken since the country secured debt relief.
“It would be good for Nigerians to know why a previous administration secured loans at a time the country had an oil boom and revenue from crude sales alone was $381.9bn between 2010 and 2014, compared to $121bn realised by the Buhari administration within a similar time frame.
“The answer is not far-fetched judging from revelations in the international media about how a government official identified as former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Allison Madueke was demanding and receiving bribes from oil traders while funds meant for the national treasury were being transferred into private accounts between 2013 and 2014.
“This was also at a time that the Excess Crude Account was depleted from $18bn to about $2bn, yet the then PDP-led government still left a public debt of $63bn”.
The group urged Nigerians to ignore PDP’s tantrums and focus on the benefits of the infrastructure that the Buhari administration is delivering.