Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has insisted that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is borrowing to build world-class infrastructure that will benefit generations of Nigerians.
The minister spoke in Borno State on Thursday at a town hall meeting with Prof. Babagana Zulum and stakeholders.
Mohammed explained that the Buhari administration is not borrowing for recurrent expenditure or to pay salaries.
Buhari had a few days ago written to the National Assembly to approve another $4 billion and €710 million external loans.
The president’s request was contained in a letter addressed to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary yesterday.
Buhari said the proposed loan would be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD.
Buhari noted that the loan, if approved, would enable the Federal Government to fund critical infrastructural projects in different sectors across the country.
Mohammed said, “Naysayers have recently ramped up their criticism of the Buhari Administration for borrowing. These critics are insincere. We are not borrowing for recurrent expenditure or to pay salaries. We are borrowing to build world class infrastructure that will benefit generations of Nigerians. And we have a lot to show for the loans we have taken.
“Today, the standard-gauge rail lines between Lagos and Ibadan as well as Abuja and Kaduna are running well. Today, we have new airport terminals in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Today,the Itakpe-Warri rail line that was abandoned for decades is running.
“Today, we have well over 13,000km of federal roads under repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction. There is a road project in every state, Today, we have started the countdown to when the 2nd Niger Bridge, which successive administrations have built only on paper, will be completed. The list of projects we are handling with the loans we obtained is long.”