President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday justified government borrowing spree.
He said the loan is meant to finance infrastructure, asserting that his government took the money in the interest of the country to solve the dire shortfall in infrastructure.
Speaking at a virtual meeting with members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) at the State House, in Abuja, the president said the country must fix its roads to save lives from soaring road accidents.
A statement by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Tuesday, quoted the president to have said: “We have so many challenges with infrastructure.
”We just have to take loans to do roads, rail and power, so that investors will find us attractive and come here to put their money.’’
Buhari, who had listened to a presentation by PEAC chaired by Prof. Ayo Salami, regretted that the failure to provide the infrastructure for effective transportation deprived the country of its well-deserved status as the West African hub for Air cargo transportation and trans-shipment of goods.
On the issue of the economy, the president noted the challenges posed by the “collapse of the oil market” and the decision of government to abide by the reduced oil production quota allocated by the Organisation of the Perroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“We have to accept that decision; otherwise they (Middle-East producers) can flood the market and make the product unviable.
”So, we have cooperated with what we get. With oil, we are in a difficult situation.
”The politics of oil is that the less you produce, the less you earn,” he said.
He also stressed the position of agriculture in the government’s scheme to reduce joblessness and poverty.
“For us to bounce back to productivity, especially in agriculture, the unemployed with many of them uneducated had to be persuaded to go into agriculture.