The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC,
John Odigie-Oyegun, has defended the borrowing plans of the Muhammadu
Buhari-led administration, saying borrowing is inevitable in view of
the current economic realities in the country.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said Nigeria must borrow to invest in infrastructure
and grow the economy.
The APC Chairman spoke on Sunday night after receiving a lifetime
achievement award presented to him by the Warri Choral Society during
a classical music concert the Society held in his honour at the Muson
Center in Lagos.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun assured that the borrowings would not be used to pay salaries.
“If you read the newspapers, you hear the president being advised to
pump money into the economy. So the question is where is the money
coming from? Simple! It has to come from somewhere including borrowing
— both internal and external. To get this country going again, you
have to pay contractors. Some contractors have not been paid for four,
five, six, 10 years.
“So long as the borrowing is done not to pay salaries which the
President Buhari administration will not do, but invested to create
opportunities, solve our problems of power and things like that.
“To allow people to have money to consume, to buy goods, to pay for
services so that factories can produce. So it is that cycle. We must
kick-start the economy and to kick-start it will need money, lots of
money,” the APC National Chairman told journalists after the concert.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said the ongoing fight against corruption was
necessary for the country to make progress.
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, in his remarks at the concert said
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun had changed the face of politics in the country.
He thanked the founder of the Warri Choral Society, Joe Ayonmike, for
his contributions to classical music in Nigeria.
“I am so jealous that Warri has a choral society of this international
quality. I see it as a challenge that in Benin we will have to develop
one. But we must support our brothers and sisters from Delta state.
“Tonight we celebrate our National Chairman who we are very proud of.
A man who has by the divine intervention of God changed the face of
politics in our country. Let me also use this opportunity to thank Mr.
Joe Ayonmike for what he has done for classical music in our country,”
Mr. Obaseki said.
Dignitaries at the concert included the Edo state governor, Godwin
Obaseki and his wife, Betsy; former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun
Osoba; former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh; Senators
Domingo Obende and Ovie Omo-Agege; John Obakpolo; Hosa Okunbo; Nike
Akande, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce; Senior Special
Assistant on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and
her husband, Segun; Umana Umana, Managing Director of Oil & Gas Free
Zone Authority; Otega Emerhor; former Lagos State Commissioner for
Health, Leke Pitan and Grace Egbagbe amongst others.