Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Thursday justified the decision of the Federal Government to apply for fresh $4 billion, €710 million external loans.
According to him, the decision by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was to build world-class infrastructure that will benefit generations of Nigerians.
Mohammed spoke in Borno State at a town hall meeting with Prof. Babagana Zulum and other stakeholders.
He said the Buhari administration would not borrow to pay salaries.
FirstNews had reported that President Buhari had written to the National Assembly to approve another $4 billion and €710 million external loans.
He said the loan would be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency, EXIM Bank and IFAD.
Speaking further on the loan, Mohammed said, “Naysayers have recently ramped up their criticism of the Buhari’s administration for borrowing. These critics are insincere. We are not borrowing for recurrent expenditure or to pay salaries. We are borrowing to build world class infrastructure that will benefit generations of Nigerians. And we have a lot to show for the loans we have taken.
“Today, the standard-gauge rail lines between Lagos and Ibadan as well as Abuja and Kaduna are running well. Today, we have new airport terminals in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Today,the Itakpe-Warri rail line that was abandoned for decades is running.
“Today, we have well over 13,000km of federal roads under repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction. There is a road project in every state, Today, we have started the countdown to when the 2nd Niger Bridge, which successive administrations have built only on paper, will be completed. The list of projects we are handling with the loans we obtained is long.”