A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill, has justified the decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to continue to obtain foreign loans, saying that such loans will help to grow the country’s economy.
Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday, Princewill, who insisted that borrowing to build infrastructure was not a bad idea, said even developed countries do go on borrowing.
He further stated that the Buhari-led administration was not the first to take foreign loans, pointing out that successive administrations in the country had at one time or the other obtained foreign loans.
The APC chieftain said: “We are not borrowing to pay salaries. We are borrowing to build infrastructure and even then we have been doing more of intending to borrow instead of actually borrowing. Take a look at what actually has been borrowed.
“Borrowing has been on since time immemorial and we struggled to find what it was for. The borrowing then was even when the oil price was high. Now it’s only just picking up, after years of bottoming out. So we have no other option than to borrow. That’s the only way we can grow the economy.
“Secondly, you can not borrow to build infrastructure everywhere else and then start speaking grammar when it comes to time to build infrastructure in the Niger Delta where the resources are generated.
“So, unless the reason for borrowing is frivolous, borrowing is not a bad word. Even developed countries do it for good causes.”
Princewill, who is a former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Rivers State, expressed worry about the gale of defections rocking the APC in the state.
The APC chieftain said: “Unlike some people who are casually glossing over it, I am worried. Losing anyone is not something to disregard. You can’t please everyone and some people need to take care of children’s school fees, pay house rent and marry new wives.
“If the offer on the other side attracts them and allows them achieve their objective, there is nothing that you can do about it. But some of these defections were not that way inclined and so I’m in the school of thought that felt there was a need to examine why. So we did.
“What needs to be done is now being addressed and even though I am still worried, there is a solution. It remains an internal matter and the highest level of the party have put measures in place. Both merit and patience will soon be rewarded. A state governor has a freedom we can only dream of. But money isn’t everything.”