The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) laments the rate at which Nigeria is sinking into terrible debts that can lead to major disaster for the country, yet the country appears to be on autopilot as if the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in charge of the nation or could one say he doesn’t care what becomes of the country?
The party raises this alarm in reaction to the alleged clauses in Article 8(1) of the commercial loan agreement signed on September 5, 2018, between Nigeria (borrower) and Export-Import Bank of China (lender), which allegedly concedes sovereignty of Nigeria to China, in the event Nigeria fails in the repayment plan of the $400 million loan from China. According to ThisDay, the controversial clause provides that, “The borrower hereby irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding pursuant to Article 8(5), thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuant thereto, except for the military assets and diplomatic assets.”
In addition to the above, this administration is seeking to source another $500m loan from the Export-Import Bank of China for the so called railway lines in the country.
It is of note that since the inception of this Buhari led administration Nigeria’s total public debt has risen to $79.303 billion as at March 31, 2020 according to Debt Management Office (DMO), yet this All Progressive Congress (APC) led government cannot convince Nigerians that the said loans have been judiciously utilised. Rather we keep hearing of different figures of huge sums of money misappropriated through different government agencies.
The party is worried over the continuous ignoring of the Chinese “Debt-Trap Diplomacy” that has seen Sri Lanka handing over a port to companies owned by the Chinese government and Djibouti about to cede control of another key port to a Beijing-linked company; while the Chinese Government is about to capitalise on same debt-trap to draw their pound of flesh from Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.
Obviously the future of the coming generations of Nigerians is being sold out to the Chinese government as the result of taking loans, yet if our internally generated resources are well managed there would have been no need for such loans.
In conclusion, the NNPP calls on the National Assembly to help curtail this avoidable disaster by no longer approving loans for this present administration and they should go a step further to sincerely probe the previous loans collected so far, if only both the upper and lower legislatures will prove wrong, those who refer to them as mere rubber stamp or stooge. And all well meaning Nigerians to add their voices to call on the government to stop motgagging the future of this country on the alter of foreign loans.
Rev. Emmanuel Olorunmagba,
Deputy National Publicity Secretary,
New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)