Sunday, 1 December 2019

Why We Rejected Buhari's $30bn External Loan Request During Our Time...Shehu Sani

Former chairman, Senate committee on local and foreign debt in the Senate, Senator Shehu Sani has explained why the request by the Federal Government to borrow $30bn was turned down by the 8th Senate.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, last Thursday, forwarded a request to the Senate to reconsider and approve the FG’s 2016 to 2018 external borrowing plan —the same thing he sent to the 8th Senate in 2016, requesting for about $30bn.

Sani, who warned in a statement that Nigeria’s external debt from 2015 to date is on the increase, said: “We turned down the FG loan request for 30bn to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap. We don’t want our country to be recolonised by creditor banks.

“Our external debt in 2015 was $10.32bn. It escalated to $22.08bn in the second quarter this year, which is 114 per cent. If we had approved that loan request, our external debt would have catapulted to over $52bn, which is not sustainable.”

He cautioned that with the current escalation of borrowing, “Nigerians will be walking into debt slavery and move from being landlords to tenants in our country. They will always tell you that even America is borrowing, but I don’t know how rational it is to keep borrowing because another country is doing so.

“If we keep listening to bankers and contractors, we will keep borrowing and burying ourselves and leave behind for our children a legacy of debt burden. Loans are not charities. Most of those encouraging more borrowing are parasitic consultants, Commission agents, rent-seeking fronts and contractors.”

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