Rescind $800m Loan Request, Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Tell FG

They want the Federal Government to address the rising inflation rate as well as improve the well-being of Nigerians.

File photo of former President Muhammadu Buhari


The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has called on the Federal Government to rescind its request for a fresh $800m loan from the World Bank.

On May 10, President Muhammadu Buhari sent a letter to the Senate seeking approval to take the loan to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.

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But in a communique issued after its crucial meeting on Thursday, the southern, and middle belt leaders expressed worry over the nation’s huge debt especially as the administration of President Buhari winds down on May 29.

“SMBLF notes with serious concern, the continued snowballing level of indebtedness being incurred by the Federal Government, particularly the recent request for $800 million World Bank loan, and calls on the Federal Government to rescind that request,” the statement read.

“Decries the rising cost of living in the country and the hyperinflation rate, confining a vast majority of ordinary Nigerians to a dire state of survival. Implores government at all levels to take urgent, practical steps to rejig the economy, check inflation and help improve citizens’ well-being and prospects.”

On the post-election cases before the tribunal in Abuja, the SMBLF urged the judiciary to be transparent in determining all petitions brought before it.

It commends Nigerian youths for participating in the 2023 general elections, saluting their courage and astuteness.

While calling on them not to become discouraged by some of the seeming outcomes, the southern, and middle belt leaders told them “that the struggle for the needed change has just begun”.

As tribunals continue their work across Nigeria, the group advised the judiciary to dispense justice.

Nigerians, it said, “are watching with very keen interest the ongoing judicial processes at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as well as various election tribunals across the country”.