The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday berated President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government, saying with government’s proposed plan to borrow N1.84 trillion to finance the 2016 budget deficit, Nigeria as a country was going the way of Greece.
Speaking with journalists Tuesday in Abuja, National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, noted that a breakdown of the N1.84 trillion shows that Nigeria would be borrowing N5 billion a day for the next 365 days, starting from January I, 2016, without what he termed, a corresponding provision for economic production and a clear repayment plan, adding that the move would spell doom for the future of the nation.
The main opposition party, therefore, challenged the Federal Government to a public and open debate on the budget devoid of sentiments of the APC-controlled National Assembly.
Metuh continued, “Some people may be wondering why we raised the alarm about the budget. The reason is simple. When we analysed the budget, we discovered it is a misshapen attempt at a Keynesian economics of applying deficit spending to stimulate growth even when studies have proven that GDP growth rates decrease by over 50% when debt goes from low or moderate to high. But then we know the borrowing here is to pay huge campaign debt and fund a political war chest.
“By every standard, this budget is a booby trap against the nation. When you break down the proposed N1.84 trillion borrowing, you discover that it amounts to borrowing N5 billion everyday for the 365 days in 2016. The questions are: for what specific projects are they borrowing N5 billion per day and how do they intend to pay back?
“The President should explain to Nigerians how they intend to pay back the loan. Is it by continuous borrowing to service the interests, and does he intend to accumulate colossal debt for future generations of Nigerians?
“The truth is that this administration cannot justify this proposal. There is no known economy in the world where you can justify borrowing N1.84 trillion without specific projects and precise repayment outline.
“This is worse still in an oil-driven, mono-economy at a time crude oil is selling at $30 dollars per barrel and is speculated to go down to about $20 dollars or even lower in the next one year.
“The idea can only come when you diversify the economy and boost production capacity in manufacturing and other critical sectors, a direction, which the budget clearly failed to provide.
“From all indicators, the borrowing will be negative. They are driving us to be like Greece, and to plunge us into unnecessary debt. When the PDP took office in 1999, we achieved the cancellation of inherited debts.”