Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has expressed concern over fresh plans by the Federal Government to secure an additional $1.2 billion loan from the Brazilian Government.
The party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday, said it was worrisome that government had such a plan in spite public outcry against the accumulation of loans from China and other foreign interests.
The Federal Government said it is seeking approval from the National Assembly for $1.2 billion loan to address issues in the agriculture value chain.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja when she appeared before the House of Representative Committee on Finance to defend the ministry’s budget.
Ologbondiyan said that the loan will further weaken the nation and will be to the detriment of the poor masses and generations yet unborn.
He slammed the idea of using agricultural programmes as a justification for further accumulation of foreign loans, without clear terms and conditions.
The party further warns that the loan request, if approved by the National Assembly, “will exacerbate our nation’s debt burden, mortgage our agricultural sector, weaken our investment capacity and worsen our food security challenge.
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that with the $1.2 billion (N459 billion) Brazilian loan, in addition to the N5.20 trillion borrowing already proposed in the 2021 budget, our nation’s debt burden will hit N36.2 trillion.
“This will plunge our economy into a devastating pitfall,” he said.
The PDP therefore urges the National Assembly to save the nation by being circumspect in handling the loan request in the national interest.
Ologbondiyan appealed to the Federal Government to rather look inwards and find ways to harness as well create wealth with the resources abounding in the country.
He said what Nigeria needed now is for government to be more innovative and resourceful in galvanizing a productive economy.
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