The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that Nigeria, against what it termed the misinformation by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, is still one of the least indebted countries amongst developing countries.
Denying the ACN’s remarks that the PDP led government is dragging Nigeria back into a debt trap, National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, while reacting on the issue maintained that the country’s debt profile remains low as at 2011, as its debt/GDP ratio stood at 17.45% compared with countries such as Indonesia at 24.5%, South Africa at 35.6% and Ghana at 38.7%.
The Party said the approved external borrowing of $7.9bn dollars in the 2012 budget covers expenditure over a three year period which ends in 2014 and it would be applied to specific projects including the Abuja Light Rail project, Zungeru 700 MW Hydro Electric Power project, 200 Ultra Modern Bed Hospital in Yobe State, Erosion Watershed Management projects across the country amongst others.
“It is common practice even in the most advanced economies in the world to borrow funds to supplement the income they generate for development projects. That Nigeria is found worthy of such credit facilities shows the improved credit rating of the country that was non-existent only a few years ago.
“It is deceitful for the ACN to question our debt profile when Lagos state is the most indebted state with an international debt profile of $491,847,295.53. This constitutes approximately 9% of the country’s total external debt profile. In addition Lagos state also has an internal debt of N100 billion in bonds.
“It is therefore hypocritical of the ACN to continuously accuse the PDP led government of sinking the country into further debt when their government is in fact the worst culprit. The PDP government will not be distracted from its focus in ensuring fiscal discipline and prudent management of our debt profile which is currently maintained within the sustainable international standard threshold of 40%,” Chief Metuh reiterated.
The PDP described ACN’s comments as reckless, just as it urged it to desist from reckless thoughtless statements that are a ‘further indication of their total ignorance on matters affecting our economy.’