State Of The Nation: Funds For Infrastructure Finished During PDP’s Rule — Lawna
State Of The Nation, Lawna says Funds For Infrastructure Disappeared During PDP’s Rule
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to borrow money for infrastructural development, saying the current administration is still cleaning up the mess of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
This came as the lawmaker representing Osun East Senatorial District, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, lampooned the Buhari government, saying its major achievement in the last seven years has been massive corruption in the system.
Senator Lawan, who spoke at the 5th edition of the Senator Olamilekan Solomon Lagos West Senatorial District’s Town Hall meeting and Empowerment programme, said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, had no option but to borrow money for the development of infrastructure because money for projects disappeared during PDP administration.
His words: “PDP will tell you that something is funny about APC administration at the national level. But they (PDP) ruled Nigeria for about 16 years and all they did was to leave or bequeath so many challenges for us in 2015.
“We are dealing with those challenges one after the other and if on the way we encountered new challenges, we are equal to the task and we will turn around the fortunes of this country for better by the grace of God.”
On why the Federal Government will continue to take loans for infrastructure, he said: “When someone will tell you that the APC administration only take loans or borrow money, but the same people had 16 years of so many resources and you did very little infrastructure in the country, the money disappeared.
“The APC options are limited but one option that is not on the table is not to do anything at all, or because you don’t have the money you shouldn’t develop your country?
“The government at the national level is responsible and responsive. We wouldn’t like to take loans or borrow money, but when the options are limited and the necessity of development of infrastructure are begging, what do we do? If we have to borrow, we will borrow responsibly and target development.
“What we witnessed in Lagos is to tell you one of the best APC can give. I want to assure Nigerians that APC is the only party they can trust because, for us, the citizens of this country are the most essential elements in governance.”
On Sanwo-Olu, he said: “I’m under this tremendous and massive temptation to say that one good term that you (Sanwo-Olu) are doing deserves another term. As an APC stakeholder, I hope I will be forgiven for this statement because that is what I believe in.”
In his remarks, Senator Adeola, who said he decided to embark on the empowerment programme, said aside from several legislative oversights, he has introduced 14 bills in the current 9th Assembly with three of the bills already passed into law.
Meanwhile, the Senator who spoke on the state of the nation in Osogbo, weekend, said many ministers and some legislators would elope at the expiration of the president’s tenure due to acts of corruption perpetrated in their ministries.
He said: “Today, what we have is a wasted seven years of leadership, whose major achievement is looting. My view is, by the time President Buhari is retiring to his farm in Daura, many ministers would have run away from this country, few legislators would have disappeared before the end of this administration because of the massive looting. Many heads of agencies would have eloped and we will not know until another administration reveals the extent of looting perpetrated because no sector of the economy is doing fine, despite the massive borrowing.”
He noted that Nigerians need to start probing spending of the executive arm of government as they do with the legislature, saying the executive controlled a larger percentage of the budget unchecked.
He adds, “The National Assembly has less than 2% of the country’s N17 trillion budget, while the executive arm takes the remaining 98%. Today, Nigeria is saying the National Assembly is corrupt while the man who controls 98% of the budget is not questioned on what he has done with the money. Ministers, who don’t canvass for votes are stealing billions unchecked, while lawmakers, who expend on community projects are the ones who are scrutinised by EFCC and ICPC, who are under the control of the executive.
“But the executive spending its budget unchecked would not want to monitor it its activities or any agency under its control. Attempts by lawmakers to conduct oversight are frustrated by the executive.”