The Atiku Media Office has demanded an apology from the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), and the All Progressives Congress on behalf of Nigerians over alleged “reckless borrowing.”
In a statement titled “Loans: Buhari, APC Owe Nigerians An Apology,” signed by the Atiku Media Office, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The statement said two months ago, the former Vice President of Nigeria and PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar called the attention of Nigerians to the reality of reckless borrowing by the present APC administration and how the terms of those loans could compromise the future of the country.
It said as was expected, “some managers of the party and even the government denied the allegations that he raised and also discount the warning for caution.”
The statement further read, “…regrettably, just last week, a cabinet minister confirmed our fears. Now, we all are aware that Nigeria’s sovereignty may have been traded for foreign loans and God forbids our inability to service those loans, the lender country would take ownership of choice infrastructure on the Nigerian soil. No negotiation could be weaker than that.
“Nigeria had a total foreign debt stock of $7.02 billion on May 29, 2015. Today, our foreign debt is $23 billion and rapidly rising. Debt, by itself, is not a bad thing. But debt budgeted for such unproductive ventures, like the proposed $500 million upgrades of the Nigerian Television Authority and other sundry bogus contracts, is debt that leads to death. To trade Nigeria’s sovereignty for this type of profligacy is the height of irresponsibility.
“Atiku Abubakar has long advocated for a more robust engagement of the private sector and promotion of foreign direct investment as sustainable alternatives through which the government could fund infrastructure development.”
The AMO expressed regret that rather than considering the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, the current APC-led regime chose instead to mortgage our sovereignty for cheap foreign loans.
It recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration initiated a National Privatisation Programme with the sole objective of ensuring that the private sector took some measure of influence in the social investment portfolio and, in some instances, provided funding for infrastructure development.
According to the media office, there was nothing in Obasanjo’s plan that traded Nigeria’s sovereignty for any loan which, in the light of unfolding revelations of sleaze in some departments of government, would have ended in private pockets.
“The government of the day and the APC must apologise to Nigerians and make an admittance of guilt for taking the country through the throes of subjugation to another country.” The statement added.