By Henry Gabriel –
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the $500 million dollars ( about N182 billion) loan been sought for by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, purportedly for upgrading of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), is just a pipe to service presidency cabal.
The $500 million dollars loan is part of the $22.7 billion loan request president Muhammadu Buhari sent to the National Assembly which is been considered.
The loan request is before local and foreign debt committee, headed by Sen Clifford Ordia (Edo).
Ordia had asked Lai Mohammed why they did not asked Nigerians and others to invest in the digitalization of the NTA and the art and cultural center they want to build, the Minister simply said people were not willing to invest, insisting that governorment handling of the project will fasttrack it’s realization.
Lai Mohammed also said if the $500 million loan is granted to NTA, they will compete with CNN.
But PDP has 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 $22.7 billion dollars loan.
“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,” a statement issued by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said.
The PDP alerts that the request for the approval of $500 million is aimed at setting the stage for further fleecing of the nation’s economy adding that 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,” the party said while counselling the Minister to perish the thoughts of $500 million.
The PDP charges Lai Mohammed 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 the economy from what it described as the bazaar of the corrupt cabal in the Buhari Presidency.