By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Chairman of the Senate committee on local and foreign debt in the 8th Senate. Shehu Sani, has given reasons why the 8th Senate turned down the federal government’s $30 billion loan request, stating that the rejection was to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap.
President Mohammadu Buhari had in a letter to the 8th Senate requested for the loan but the lawmakers rejected his request. On Thursday, the President sent a fresh letter to the 9th Senate seeking approval for the loan.
Shehu Sani, who is now the Director at the African Centre for Peace and Development, in a statement urged the 9th Senate and indeed the National Assembly to be cautious, saying, “We don’t want our country to be recolonized by creditor banks”.
According to the senator, “Our external debt in 2015 was $10.32 Billion and it escalated to $22.08 in the second quarter this year, which is 114 percent, if we had approved that loan request,our external debt could have catapulted to over $52 Billion and that is not sustainable”.
He explained that with the current escalation of borrowing, “we will be walking into debt slavery and move from landlords to tenants in our country.They will always tell you that even America is borrowing and I don’t know how rational is it to keep on borrowing because another country is borrowing”.
Senator Sani said that if Nigera keeps listening to bankers and contractors, then, “we will keep borrowing and burying ourselves and leave behind for our children a legacy of debt burden”.
He stated that loans are not charities, as most of those encouraging more borrowing are parasitic consultants, commission agents, rent seeking fronts and contractors.