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Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday raised an alarm over the rate at which the All Progressives Congress (APC) is borrowing money to fund projects in the country.
This formed part of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
“Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 trillion is becoming clearly unsustainable relative to our earnings and GDP.
“We should not saddle incoming generations with an undue debt burden. The borrowing spree of the APC administration if unchecked will certainly lead Nigeria into avoidable bankruptcy,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part.
The governors decried that the debt profile of Nigeria with over 80 per cent of normal appropriation spent on debt servicing was rising and becoming uncontrollable.
They stated that all the gains of the PDP government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo when the nation exited its foreign debt obligations had been destroyed.
The governors accused the present administration of borrowing for frivolous items, stressing that such an action was scandalous.
They faulted the operational system and methods of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which they claimed was functioning as an independent government-within-a-government.
“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.
“It has become not just a leviathan, but also a Father Christmas of sorts, dabbling into every sphere and scope of governmental activity, not just as a lender of last resort, but as a full executing agency of government,” the communique read.
It added, “The meeting observed that the CBN has become such an octopus that it threatens state governments publicly, without decorum, about sanctions on any attempt to question its Modus Operandi. The CBN should take immediate steps to halt the depreciation of the naira.”
The governors also called for the decentralisation of the operations of the security apparatus of the state, even within the existing legal framework.
They explained that the move became necessary in the face of the disturbing spate of insecurity in the land, to ensure the input of local operators in state and local governments in policing and security.
The governors decried that President Muhammadu Buhari seemed not to be aware that the coercive instruments of state security were firmly within his hands and not the governors, considering his recent media interview on the subject.
They reminded the President that he has ultimate authority under the Constitution over the security organisations, even though the states have a role to play.
The leaders believe cooperation and synergy between states and the Federal Government in security operations were critical in securing the nation and its people.
They stated that despite being on the Exclusive List, the states spend huge sums of money to support the police and other security agencies to carry out their duties.
The governors called on the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the Electoral Act and Constitution amendments to ensure restructuring and decentralisation of governmental powers and functions.