Former lawmaker, Shehu Sani has condemned the recent Senate’s approval to President Muhammadu Buhari administration to secure $22.7bn foreign loan.
Reacting to the development, Sani said the loan will mortgage the future of Nigerian children as Nigeria’s current debt profile is unsustainable.
“The approval will plunge Nigeria into a deeper pit of debt” he said.
“It is going to mortgage the future of our children. It is unfortunate that Nigeria has exhibited the London and Paris club, and also drag itself into the Washington and Beijing club. And we are very likely to remain there for a very long time. The debt profile of Nigeria is unsustainable. Most of the reasons why we are going to borrow money are not really tenable.
“We cannot repay this debt so easily, and what I know very well is that if this debt was approved under Jonathan, President Buhari and APC could have been in the forefront of protesting against it.
“It is unfortunate that the very people who have raised issues on our national debt when they were in opposition or in Labour, today they have found themselves to be leaders in terms of promoting and also piling up debts for Nigeria. If we are not careful the whole country will be under the control and mortgage web of those foreign creditors’ institutions”.
Speaking further he said, “as far as I am concerned, we supposed not to have reached this very level of poverty in the country if the past debt profile was well managed.
“Debt should only be for critical infrastructure that would promote development and drive growth in our country. But, how can Buhari’s government that says it is netting over one billion naira every day through the closure of borders, and how can the government that says it has saved money as a result of subsidies and other critical measures, now go to borrow billions of dollars?
“And, if you look at the revenue profile of Nigeria today, from what accrues to the country we will continue to service this debt for over half a century. And I don’t think that will go well for the nation”.
Sani argued that “there are critical infrastructure that simply needs a private-public partnership where the private sector will invest money, at the same time the profit would be shared by the public and the private sectors.
“We don’t need to borrow money to build airport, we don’t need to borrow money to build infrastructure that will generate money, when if there are private interest that are ready to lend their money and to invest. So, I think the administration of the National Assembly have gotten themselves on the wrong side of history by getting us into debt. And this will continue to be an issue for the next 50 years.”
On why the 8th National Assembly refused to approve the loan, he said, “We were concerned about our place in history and not piling up debts that the future generation will not be able to repay. So our signatures and approvals was very pressure to us and that was why we exercise restraint in terms of approving foreign loans.
“What you need to understand is that commissioned agents who facilitate this loan are only interested in their own commission. And loans are not charity, they must be repaid and with interest. So, those banks and those institutions and countries that are lending
Nigeria money are simply investing for their own children, grandchildren and countries.
“And as it is now, we are most likely to get into a quagmire of debts. During our time we rejected approval in order to save the country and save our children from being re-colonised by foreign creditors, so we were concerned of the future of our nation.”