By Isa Amodu and Bature Dan-Inni, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators for approving President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a fresh $22.79 billion loan, which had been rejected by Nigerians across the board.
However, in a swift reaction, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has assured Nigerians that the National Assembly will take full responsibility for the application of President Muhammadu Buhari’s $22.79 billion loan request to various projects domiciled with Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
“Let me emphasis here, that we are going to follow very strictly how these funds are applied by the executive arm of government.
“Our Committees must be prepared to ensure that no single dollar or cent is spent on any other thing outside of what has been indicated here.
“We pray that this loan will turn around the economy of Nigeria. It is our belief that this loan will definitely have some positive influence on the Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) of this country, and therefore, we want to assure Nigerians that as a Chamber of the National Assembly, we will be responsible and ensure that no funds approved here are utilized for something else or used in uneconomic or imprudent manner.
“This is our responsibility and we will ensure we do that”, the Senate President assured.
But, PDP insisted that, in approving more financial burden on the nation, the APC senators have further shown that their party did not have the interest of Nigerians at heart, but is only out to repress and plunge our citizens into more hardship just for their selfish gains.
The PDP, in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary, said it is distressing that the APC senators approved the loan, even when the Buhari Presidency had not justified the request; a situation that validated apprehensions that the APC senators had become rubber stamp legislators.
“The fact that the $22.79 billion loan request brimmed with unexplained, obscure, over-bloated and questionable subheads, such as the scandalous $500 million dollars (N180 billion) smuggled in under the guise of upgrading the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), shows that the APC and a cabal in the Presidency are in a huge financial racket, for which they are ready to plunge Nigerians into more suffering.
“In approving the loan, even after it was clear that Nigerians are averse to it, the APC senators have confirmed that they are in league with other APC leaders to fleece our nation and bring more hardship to Nigerians,” it said.
The party noted as disheartening that under the Buhari Presidency the nation’s foreign debt had continued to accumulate with nothing to show other than excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, escalated insecurity and unprecedented poverty.
The party, however, commended the PDP senators for standing with Nigerians in fearlessly rejecting the loan as it will bring more hardship and further mortgage the future of our nation.
The PDP therefore called on Nigerians to unite in defence of the nation by raising their voices to demand that Senate reverses this unpatriotic approval, which is completely against our national interest.