Nigeria: $22.7bn Loan - Senators Inflicting More Hardship On Nigerians - PDP

Nigerian Senate (file photo).

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated senators for approving President Muhammadu Buhari's request for a fresh $22.7 billion loan, saying the lawmakers have inflicted more hardship on Nigerians as a result of their action.

The PDP, in a statement on Thursday night by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, speficically blamed the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators for the action.

The PDP said it was distressing that the loan request was approved even when the Buhari Presidency allegedly did not justify the request.

"The fact that the $22.7 billion loan request brimmed with unexplained, obscure, over-bloated and questionable subheads, such as the scandalous $500 million dollars (N180 billion) smuggled in under the guise of upgrading the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), shows that the APC and a cabal in the Presidency are in a huge financial racket, for which they are ready to plunge Nigerians into more suffering.

"In approving the loan, even after it was clear that Nigerians are averse to it, the APC senators have confirmed that they are in league with other APC leaders to fleece our nation and bring more hardship to Nigerians.

"The party notes as disheartening that under the Buhari Presidency our foreign debt has continued to accumulate with nothing to show other than excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, escalated insecurity and unprecedented poverty.

"The party however, commended the PDP senators for standing with Nigerians in fearlessly rejecting the loan as it will bring more hardship and further mortgage the future of our nation," the PDP said.

Senate's approval

Senate had earlier in the day approved the $22.7bn external borrowing plan of the federal government after an emergency closed door session.

The debate on the loan stalemated on the floor of the Senate when some opposition lawmakers demanded the details of the projects to be funded with the money.

This forced the Red Chamber into a closed door session.

The controversy started when the Chairman of the Local and Foreign Loans Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, submitted the report to the plenary without the details of the projects to be funded with the loan.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, had sought details of the projects to be implemented and that the lawmakers should critically scrutinise the panel's recommendations before passing the report.

But after about 20-minute executive session, the upper legislative chamber approved the loan request.

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