PDP govs lampoon Buhari over huge debt profile, CBN’s operations

The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum on Monday rose from a meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, condemning the rising debt profile of the country.

The forum said over 80 per cent of the budget was being spent on serving debts.

The body also accused the Central Bank of Nigeria of Nigeria of operating as an independent government within a government.

The forum in a communique which was read by its Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, lamented that all the gains of the PDP-led government, when the country exited its debts obligations had been destroyed by the APC-led administration.

‘The communiqué reads in part, “The PDP frowns at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80 per cent of normal Appropriation spent on debt servicing.

“All the gains of the PDP government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations have been destroyed. Borrowing for the NTA (Nigeria Television Authority) is scandalous. Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria current debt of over N36tn is becoming clearly unsustainable relatives to our earnings and GDP.

“We should not saddle the incoming generation with undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration, if unchecked, will certainly lead Nigeria to avoidable bankruptcy

“A situation where the CBN creates money, decides how much of it will spend, on what to spend it without any form of control or supervision, is patently subversive of our constitutional order.”

The governors added, “This meeting observed that the CBN has become such an octopus that it threatens state governments publicly without decorum about sanctions or any attempt to question it modus operandi. The CBN should take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of the naira.”

The forum reiterated its call for the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send the revised allocation formula to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment to enable more revenue come to the states and local government areas “where more Nigerians reside.”

The governor also frowned at the “opaque manner’ the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation carried out its functions, adding that its decision not to make it statutory contributions to the  federation account has starved states, LGs and Nigerian of funds needed for development.

The forum also called on other agencies of government such as the Nigeria Port Authority, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Communication Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Customs and Excise and similar Organisations that are statutorily required to make contributions to the federation account to do more.

The meeting condemned the recent ban on Twitter, noting that social media regulations could only be done within the existing laws and should not be an attempt to gag Nigerians from enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights

Also in attendance at the meeting which held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo, were governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom),  Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and  Seyi Makinde (Oyo)

Also present were governors Ahmadu Fintri (Adamawa State), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Darius Ishaku (Taraba), while Zamfara State was represented by the deputy governor, Mahdi Mohammed.

Attempts to get a response from the APC were futile. Calls to the mobile telephone number of the National Secretary, Senator John AkpanUdoedehe, were neither picked nor returned. A response to text and WhatsApp messages sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of press time.

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