The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused the Federal Government of lying to Nigerians over the state of the economy.
In a statement on Wednesday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Olongbondiyan, the Party faulted statements by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, after its Presidential candidate for the 2019 general election and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, raised concerns over the country’s huge debt profile under President Muhammadu Buhari.
The statement reads
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) berates the Federal Government over attempts to hoodwink Nigerians by concealing officially documented data on debts and the alarming state of the nation’s economy.
“Our party insists that it is public knowledge that our nation’s economy has been mismanaged arising from excessive borrowings by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The PDP described as scandalous, disgraceful and highly irresponsible that the Buhari-led administration attempted to disprove already known facts, as presented by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, that our nation’s debt profile, under the Buhari administration, has risen to 99 percent of the revenue profile in the first quarter of 2020.
“It is reprehensible that the Federal Government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, would deny that its first quarter 2020 financial report stated that Federal Government’s retained revenue stood at N950.56 billion, while the total debt services was N943.12 billion.
“In his denial, the minister forgot that the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy document from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning which showed the figures was already in the public domain.
“For the avoidance of doubt, tables 3.4 and 4.3 of the report respectively, state that, “as at end of March 2020, FGN’s retained revenue was N950.56 billion”, and that “of the expenditure, N943.12 billion was for debt service”.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how the response by the Federal Government to issues raised by Atiku Abubakar has further exposed the falsehood and concealments inherent in the APC administration and why our nation’s economy has been in a dire strait.
“The fact is that the Buhari administration has destroyed our economy with accumulation of debts to the extent that the debt profile has risen to 99 percent of our retained revenue. No amount of whitewash by the Minister of Information can distort this fact.
“It is equally inexcusable for the minister to claim that the debts taken by the administration was meant to address the poverty it brought to our nation, when it cannot point to any tangible project it had done in any critical sector apart from turning our nation into the poverty capital of the world.
“It is therefore clear that with the prevailing situation and the refusal by the Buhari-led Federal Government to take responsibility for its actions, our economy is heading towards the brinks.
“The PDP counsels the Buhari administration to desist from its denials and take responsibility for the economic crisis and debt burden it has plunged our nation into. The earlier they wake up and begin to think of what legacy their eight years in office will be remembered for, the better.
“It will be unpardonable, if after eight years, all that Nigerians will remember the Buhari administration for is a basketful of morsels of lies, huge debts, humongous corruption, escalated bloodletting, hunger, starvation and awful living conditions that were unknown to Nigerians in our national history.”