ECONOMY · Governance · POLITICS

We will bridge infrastructural gap with $22.7bn loan-BMO_Femi Ehiabhi

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), on Sunday, lectured Nigerians on the $22.7bn loan approved by the Senate.

According to the group, the approved loan will bridge the country’s infrastructure gap and launch it into the league of nations with top-class infrastructure in the shortest possible time.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the fears of Nigerians are understandable but this is unlike what was witnessed in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) years.

“We recognise that many Nigerians who lived through the 16-year misrule of PDP are apprehensive about the just approved external borrowing plan, but we make bold to say that things would be done differently this time.

“A cursory look through the details of the approved loan would reveal that every single one of it is tied to one infrastructural project or the other, ranging from power to railway lines and even education reforms and social welfare schemes.

“This is different from what many Nigerians knew about the PDP years where foreign loans were simply for budget support and ended up being used to pay salaries, as explained by a one-time finance minister or looted.

“And that is why the opposition party came up with a lame reaction to the Senate approval in which it claimed the request was ‘brimming with unexplained, obscure, over-bloated and questionable subheads’.

“But we wonder how a party that had the opportunity to transform the nation’s landscape at a time of high oil receipts could glibly dismiss an approval for loan for, amongst others, the Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation Project (Ibadan-Kano Segment Double Track); Coastal Railway Project (Calabar-Port Harcourt-Onne Deep Sea Port Segment); and even the East-West Road Project that was used by PDP leaders as a drain pipe for slush fund between 2006 and 2015?

“What many Nigerians do not realise is that the 8th Senate approved about $6bn of the original $29bn loan request in 2018 which the Buhari administration has been using for projects including the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that it was tied to.

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