By Bologi M. Maikudi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of profligacy in its “borrowing spree” — which it claimed “increased the country’s debt to N24.387 trillion in 2018.”
A statement issued on Monday by national publicity secr etary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said between 2015 and 2018, Nigeria’s debt stock increased from N12.12 trillion to N24.387 trillion.
According to him, the Buhari’s administration has taken on a “culture of unexplained borrowing” without anything to show for it in terms of development projects across the country.
The party also claimed that some of the money borrowed was used to fund the campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the wake of the 2019 general election.
“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,” the statement read in part.
“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 the space of one year.
“The President Muhammadu 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.
“This is 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.
“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.
“Nigerians cannot afford to continue to bear the burden of an incompetent and insensitive administration and that is why they eagerly await the retrieval of our stolen mandate at the Presidential election petition tribunal,” the main opposition party said
The party called on the National Assembly to probe the increase in debt stock while also limiting government’s ability to take loans at will.