The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday criticised the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over his request for $500 million loan for the upgrade of facilities at the Nigerian Television Authorities (NTA).
The party urged the minister to jettison the plan as it would put a debt burden of about N182 billion on the nation.
The minister, yesterday, announced the planned upgrade of the NTA with the loan, saying the $500 million facility would enable the television network to compete with American Cable Network News (CNN).
But in a statement in Abuja by its spokesmen Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP urged the National Assembly to turn down the request.
The statement said: “The PDP implores the National Assembly to reject the clear attempt by the cabal in the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency to worsen the economic situation in our country via the use of phony projects as guise to draw foreign funds to service their selfish economic and political interests.
“The party notes that under the Buhari Presidency, our foreign debt has accumulated to $83 billion with nothing to show other than excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, escalated insecurity and unprecedented poverty.”
“The PDP alerts that the request for the approval of $500 million is aimed at setting the stage for further fleecing of our nation’s economy as the Federal Government under the Buhari administration has shown no commitment towards nation-building, transparency and accountability in governance.”
“Moreover, the Federal Government has failed to present details of the requested $29.9 billion loan in which the $500 million being requested by the Minister of Information and Culture is embedded; a development that points to nothing but the corruption in the Buhari administration.”
“While counselling the minister to perish the thoughts of $500 million, the PDP charges him to use his appearance at the National Assembly to give account of the funds so far released to the Ministry of Information and Culture which has been plagued by cases and allegations of corruption under his watch.”