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APC defends Buhari govt’s N2.6tr loan request… critical for economic sustainability

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday defended the Federal Government’s fresh request for a foreign loan.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday requested the Senate to approve a fresh N2.66 trillion ($4 billion and €710 million) external loan for the country.

In a letter addressed to Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the President said the proposed loan would be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The request had drawn criticism from many Nigerians including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The National Secretary of APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, who reacted to the backlash that trailed the fresh loan request in a statement in Abuja, said the loans are necessary for the completion of various projects in the country.

He said the projects would stimulate economic growth, job generation, and poverty reduction when completed.

The APC spokesman stressed that the borrowings were to ensure the realisation of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan that touched key sectors of the nation’s economy.

Akpanudoedehe said: “It was in PDP’s era that loans for funding power generation, purchase of arms and ammunition to fight a raging insurgency were misappropriated and diverted to private pockets.

“And the borrowed money ultimately found its way to the pockets of cronies, friends, and family members of the administration’s officials.

“Nigeria is still servicing a $460 million loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract awarded in August 2010.

“Nigerians should also reflect and recall that the PDP had in its 16 years of misrule pushed the country into a dark ditch of insolvency, and a period in which most state governments could not pay workers’ salaries.”