Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has said the current administration did not borrow money for recurrent expenditure but for funding critical infrastructural project in the country.
This came amid concerns raised by many on the rising debt profile of the nation, particular loans from China.
Mohammed who spoke with newsmen on Saturday after he and Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, inspected the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, said there is nothing bad in borrowing, provided the funds are invested in infrastructure.
“There is no better way to answer Nigerians as to what we have done with the money we have borrowed than this trip. On this trip, you have seen first hand the stations being constructed, the rail lines, and the people who are working on the projects,” he said.
Rather than arguing with critics, we opted to allow you (journalists) – the ears and eyes of Nigerians – to come and see for yourselves what we are doing with the money we are borrowing.
We didn’t borrow money for services or overhead expenditure. We borrowed money for capital projects: rail; roads; bridges; power – infrastructure generally.
There is nothing bad in borrowing, provided the funds are invested in infrastructure, especially when it will create jobs, create an enabling environment for the economy.”
On his part, Amaechi said $1.6 billion is being expended on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line and the stations.
He appealed to the national assembly to approve a $5.3 billion Chinese loan request to enable the government execute the Ibadan-Kano standard gauge rail line.