By Bassey Anthony, Uyo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has raised the alarm over the debt profile of Nigeria put at N36 trillion allegedly incurred by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government.
The forum expressed worry the Federal Government was gradually plunging Nigeria into bankruptcy with its excessive borrowings on frivolous items, adding that over 80% of the normal appropriation is being spent on debt servicing.
In a communiqué after a meeting on Monday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, the PDP Governors also accused the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenues generating agencies of lack of transparency and accountability in the declaration of revenue proceeds.
The communiqué read by Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, queried the lack of financial transparency by the NNPC and other agencies has robbed state and local governments of the needed funds to provide employment and develop their territories.
It reads in part: ”PDP Governors frowned at the rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile of Nigeria with over 80% of normal Appropriation spent on debt servicing.
”All the gains of the PDP Government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, where Nigeria exited its foreign debt obligations has been destroyed.
“Borrowing for frivolous items such as funding the Nigerian Television Authority is scandalous. Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 Trillion Naira is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP.
”We should not saddle incoming generations with undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked, will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy.
”The meeting called on other agencies of Government such as Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), Federal Inland Revenue Services, Customs and Excise and similar organisations that are statutorily required to make contributions into the Federation Account, to do more.
“The Federating States should, going forward, now have a say in the determination of operating costs to ensure transparency and accountability”.
The PDP Governors also expressed deep concerns over the operational system and methods of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
”It viewed with regrets that the CBN is operating as an independent government within a Government, which is a pervasion of the autonomy of the Bank.
”A situation where CBN creates money, decides how much of it to spend, on what to spend it on without any form of controls or supervision is patently subversive of our constitutional order,” the Governors said.
They reiterated the call for a review of the revenue allocation formula and urged the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to ”urgently send the revised Revenue Allocation Formula to Mr President for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment, such that more resources are made available to States and Local Governments where ordinary Nigerians reside”.
The meeting was attended by Gov Tambuwal (Sokoto); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Sen. Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Bala Mohammed(Bauchi); Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Deputy Governor Mahdi Mohd of Zamfara State.