You Don't Need to Borrow, Look Inwards, Falana Tells Buhari

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Peace Obi

The human right lawyer, Barrister Femi Falana friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari does not need to borrow to run the economy. Advising the President to look inwards, Falana urged the President Buhari-led government to recover looted money that are starched in foreign accounts in various parts of the world.

Speaking at a symposium organised by the Department of Political Science on a theme “X-Raying 50 Years of Military Intervention in Nigerian Politics”, Falana who was a guest speaker said that Nigeria does not need to incur additional debt burden of 30 billion dollars as proposed by the president. Disclosing that he had written to the Minister of Finance advising against the government’s earlier move to borrow from the World Bank and African Development Bank to run the economy said, “Don’t go a borrowing! Why don’t you engage in an aggressive recovery of our rooted wealth?”

Describing Dasukigate to be a small fraction of Nigeria’s rooted wealth by some public officials, Falana said more revelations on stolen funds have continued to emerge and that the government should be bold enough to investigate and recover the stolen money hidden in many foreign accounts.

“This Dasukigate they are investigating is infinitesimal compare to what is in the Western countries.

Speaking further on some of the recent discoveries on corrupt practices in the oil sector, Falana disclosed that a team of lawyers engaged by the previous government has discovered some discrepancies in the record from the country’s loading point and the countries of destination of the loaded ships.

According to him, “In one of the ports in the US between 2011 and 2014, the difference between the record there and what is available at the loading point here is 60.2 million barrels of oil, valued 12.7 billion dollars.” Explaining that while Nigeria not keep proper of the transactions serious countries keep records for the purpose of taxation. “In the countries where these ships are going, proper records are kept for the purpose of taxation.”

Adding that the 30 billion dollars loan would probably go the same way the previous ones went, he noted that a careful check may reveal that it will neither be used for education, health nor even infrastructural development. “We have instead of seeing infrastructural development, what we have witnessed is infrastructural decay.”

Stating that the intervention of the military in Nigeria’s politics has fostered corruption rather than good governance said that level of corruption under military rule has remained unprecedented. According to him while the military superintended the sale of public assets to their cronies, arms money worth billions dollars 2007 and 2015 was equally stolen by Dasuki and other former service chiefs. Adding that it becomes illogical for government to condemn the young army officers charged with mutiny, said since the army failed to provide them with the arms to fight the deadly terrorists. “They did not join the army to commit suicide but to fight war, he said.

Speaking also, another guest, Comrade Ayo Opadokun said that 50 years after independence, that Nigeria is yet to have a complete democratic government devoid of military intervention. According to him, while it seems the military are in the barracks, that they are actually controlling Nigerian politics through their proxies when not in power. According to Opadokun, Nigerian Army has established an enduring lifestyle of using violence to appropriate to itself what does not belong to it. And that it also uses state coercive instrument to control and retain criminally-acquired possessions permanently.

Deliberating on the military impact on Nigeria’s economy, the comrade said that the military has badly configured the nation’s economy to the effect that the huge petroleum dollars were wasted, misused misappropriated.