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Published On: Mon, Dec 23rd, 2019

Don’t touch pension funds, PDP cautions FG

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By Lateef Ibrahim

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government to avoid dipping hands in the N2.1 trillion pension fund to implement infrastructural projects in the country.
The PDP gave the warning through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan at the weekend in Abuja.
Recall that a committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state had, in the course of the National Economic Council (NEC), meeting in Abuja on Thursday, recommended the use of the fund for the implementation of capital projects, including power, which has been a major challenge in the country for decades.
While however addressing journalists in Abuja, the PDP warned the presidency to dismiss the recommendation, pointing out that despite the huge debt incurred by the Buhari-led government, there is nothing on ground to justify same.
The party declared, “We cannot as a party support any move to dip hands in the pension funds to implement infrastructural projects. Take a look at the living conditions of Nigerians. Has there been an improvement? It is the same old story.
“With the ruling party’s debt servicing rate of N2.7 trillion a year, it will take us 15 years to get off the debt this administration is plunging us into.”
The APC-led government, PDP said, should bury its head in shame, given what he called the failure to justify the huge borrowing incurred by the administration in the past five years.
According to the PDP, “In spite of their huge spending, how has this translated into good living for Nigerians? What we can see is the ostentatious living of APC members.
“The PDP as a party is worried about the sorry state of the nation under the APC misrule; the humongous corruption, the biting economic hardship, hunger, starvation, disease, collapsed infrastructure, human rights violation and attack on institutions of democracy,” it stressed.
The party further thumbed down the ruling party for poor management of the nation’s resources, saying “Unlike the PDP Which grew the economy to be one the fastest growing in the world, APC has crippled, and turned our nation into the world poverty capital due to incompetence and corruption.
“Instead of growing the economy, the APC is only interested on accumulation of debt and inflicting pain on Nigerians through imposition of multiple taxes, increase of Value Added Tax, VAT, tariffs among others.”
The PDP similarly advised the Buhari-led government to embark on sensitization before the January 2,2020 take off the full implementation of the Tax Identity Number, TIN, policy.
It expressed fears that most Nigerians would find it difficult to do financial transactions with their banks once the policy takes off.
The policy of TIN, the PDP noted will disrupt Nigerians’ economic activities and get families stranded immediately after the yuletide.
Answering question on the party’s position on zoning ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, Ologbondiyan explained that the party is embarking on strategic reforms and repositioning, noting that the leadership of the party will make its position public at the appropriate time.
His words, “We have not reached a decision on where our Presidential candidate will come from.
“The other party understands politics, not governance.
“What we are concerned about now are reforms to further reposition the party ahead of 2023,” he added.

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