Falana Calls For Probe Of Conditions In Nigeria’s $79bn Foreign Loans

 

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana has called on the National Assembly to probe the conditions of Nigeria’s foreign loans totalling about $79.5bn.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, Falana wondered why much emphasis should just be on the $3.1billion to be secured from China.

According to him, the masses are being misled by leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and those of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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“We are being misled. What is the basis of this cessation about Chinese loan which is only $3.1billion out of $79billion loan?

A file photo of Mr Femi Falana.

“Why are we not talking about the remaining $76billion whose conditionality is much worse than the Chinese loans we are talking about?

“So, why don’t you look at the entire loan portfolio? Look at the conditions. For instance, some of the western loans are to the effect that the government should increase electricity tariff, increase fuel price and so on and so forth,” he said.

Falana also knocked the federal lawmakers for “not complaining about those multiple taxations dictated by western imperialism.”

While admitting that every country has the right to enter into an agreement with issues relating to loans, the senior lawyer maintained that the National Assembly is required by law to look at the terms and conditions.

In doing this, Falana asked the Ministry of Justice to always scrutinise the terms and conditions of the agreements to the benefits of all Nigerians.

FG Borrows $1.6Bn To Aid Power Transmission

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo said the Federal Government has borrowed $1.6 billion (about n240 billion) foreign loans for the expansion of power transmission facilities in the country.

The Minister said this, after a meeting of the Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACP) at the presidential villa.

The closed door meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, and it had in attendance the Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and several other ministers.

According to Professor Nebo, the loan is coming from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Euro Bond Issue and the Chinese Exim Bank.

He said: much of the deliberations cantered on expanding the transmission network in Nigeria to ensure that all the power generating plants that Nigeria is now building and commissioning, have adequate capacity to pull out power.