The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) expressed concern over the federal government’s fresh plans to receive an additional US$ 1.2 billion loan from the Government of Brazil.
The group, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday, said it was alarming that the government had such a proposal amid public outcry against the accumulation of loans from China and other foreign interests.
The Federal Government announced that it is seeking approval from the National Assembly for a loan of US$ 1.2 billion to resolve issues in the value chain of agriculture.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, declared this Tuesday in Abuja when she appeared before the House of Representatives of the Finance Committee to defend the budget of the Ministry of Finance.
Ologbondiyan said that the loan would further weaken the nation and to the detriment of the poor masses and still unborn generations.
He slammed the idea of using agricultural programmes as a justification for further accumulation of foreign loans, without clear terms and conditions.
Peoples Democratic 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 US$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.
Peoples Democratic Party 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.