The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to explain to Nigerians how the country incurred a debt of N24.38 trillion in under three years.
The PDP made the demand in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Monday.
According to the opposition party, alleged unwholesome borrowings had triggered the country’s debt profile to rise from N12.12 trillion in 2015 to “an overburdening” N24.38 trillion in 2018.
The party stated that the alleged incompetence and lack of initiative of the Buhari administration to stimulate the economy has led the government to engage in heavy borrowing, which it described as “saddening and devastating.”
It added that the heavy borrowing, which it alleged was used to fund President Buhari’s re-election campaign, has caused a lot of untold hardship for Nigerians.
The statement read: “Since President Buhari assumed office in 2015, there has been a culture of unexplained borrowings leading to a steep rise in the debt stock from N17.5 trillion in 2016 to N21.72 trillion in 2017 and a huge N24.387 trillion in 2018.”
“It is shocking and completely insupportable that our nation’s debt had risen from N21.72 trillion in December 2017, to N24.387 trillion in December 2018, showing an accumulation of a whopping N2.66 trillion in the space of one year.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, therefore, has a huge explanation to make to Nigerians for its borrowing spree, especially as it cannot point to any meaningful development project into which the borrowed funds were invested.
“This is particularly against the backdrop of allegations in the public space that the borrowed funds, which were taken as development funds, were diverted to 2019 general election campaign activities of the APC, a huge part of which ended in private pockets of corrupt APC leaders.”
The PDP further stated that the country’s debt profile possibly increased as the Buhari administration had allegedly embezzled the sums of N1.4 trillion meant for oil subsidy, N9 trillion as detailed in a leaked memo of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and N33 billion meant to carter for Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
The opposition party called on the National Assembly to urgently investigate all borrowings and halt the approval of any new loans until the Federal Government can clarify issues related to the country’s present debt profile.