The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday told Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to perish the thoughts of mortgaging the future of the country with the $500 million (N182 billion) loan request, purportedly for upgrading of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.
Alhaji Mohammed had said in an ealier statement that the huge loan when granted would help upgrade the NTA to the status of the Cable News Network, CNN.
But the PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan urged the National Assembly to save the nation by refusing the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to plunge the nation into more debt through his request for additional $29.9 billion dollars loan, in which the said $500 million and other unexplained subheads are embedded.
The statement read: “The PDP implores the National Assembly to reject the clear attempt by the cabal in the Buhari Presidency to worsen the economic situation in our country via the use of phony projects as guise to draw foreign funds to service their selfish economic and political interests.
“The party notes that under the Buhari Presidency, our foreign debt has accumulated to $83 billion dollars with nothing to show other than excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, escalated insecurity and unprecedented poverty.
“The PDP alerts that the request for the approval of $500 million is aimed at setting the stage for further fleecing of our nation’s economy as the federal government under the Buhari administration has shown no commitment towards nation building, transparency and accountability in governance.
“Moreover, the federal government has failed to present details of the requested $29.9 billion dollars loan in which the $500 million being requested by the Minister of Information and Culture is embedded; a development that points to nothing but the corruption in the Buhari administration.
While counselling the Minister to perish the thoughts of $500 million, the PDP urged him to use his appearance at the National Assembly “to give account of the funds so far released to the Ministry of Information and Culture which has been plagued by cases and allegations of corruption under his watch.”
“The party also charges Lai Mohammed to immediately provide answers to circumstances surrounding the reported National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, N2.5 billion fraud.
“The PDP urges the National Assembly to shelve all requests for foreign loans until the Buhari Presidency heed to the demand by Nigerians to open its books and publish details of all financial transactions on foreign loans as well as spending from the federation account so as to secure our economy from the bazaar of the corrupt cabal in the Buhari Presidency.”