The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are in war of words over the proposal by the state government to take a N250 billion loan. PDP is urging the house of assembly not to approve it, saying it was not convinced about the necessity of the loan.
It would be recalled that the governor had penultimate week sent a request to the house seeking approval for the N250bn loan, while decrying the declining revenue in the state.
But PDP in a statement by its publicity secretary, Mr. Taofiq Gani, said the loan must equally be opposed by the people of Lagos. It said any attempt by the house to approve the loan could attract the wrath of the people, adding that the governor must come out to publicly defend the loan. According to the opposition party, the loan would not be used for anything other than allegedly been shared among the ruling party chieftains and officials.
“We hold that 60 percent of the sought loan is to be shared amongst the governor, members of the LAHA and notable chieftains of the APC, essentially to placate the chieftains of the APC,” he claimed. The party objected to the governor’s claim that no new revenue was being expected from the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), adding that the actual collections from the IGR were not made public. It insisted that taking more loans would deepen the debt profile of the state which, it noted, was already indebted to the tune of over N2 trillion. The opposition party said there were no visible developments on ground to justify the loan.
“What the LAHA should rather do is to summon the governor and his commissioner for finance to explain to Lagosians how the state would not have IGR for the remaining months in the year.
“Indeed the time is now overdue for the IGR collecting private company, Alpha Beta, to be reappraised and brought to account to Lagosians. Lagosians have long been shortchanged,” Mr Gani said. The ruling APC, in its reaction, dismissed the claim by PDP that the loan was meant to finance the activities of the party, saying the party is different from government. Spokesman of the party, Hon. Abiodun Salami in an interview with our correspondent noted that the state has a wide infrastructure deficit which requires such loan to bridge the gap. He assured that the loan would be used maximally for the benefit of the people of Lagos.
“Lagos is below the sea level and we must make sure that the infrastructure is in place,” he said, adding that the APC government has a covenant with the people which would be discharged.dailytrust