By Deji Elumoye
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has opposed the proposed plan by the federal government to borrow $22.7 billion to fund infrastructural facilities across the country.
The Forum in a communiqué entitled “No to Reckless Borrowings”, issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja at the weekend and jointly signed by the Chairman and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Co-Chairman for Afenifere; Chief Nnia Nwodo, President, Ohaneze Ndigbo;
Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd),
National Chairman, PANDEF; Dr. Pogu Bitrus
President, Middle Belt Forum and Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Secretary, rejected the external debt of the country which has risen to over $80 billion in just few years.
The leaders therefore, asked the federal government to rescind its ongoing effort to borrow more money to the tune of over $27 billion as approved by the Senate adding that “if not for bad governance, Nigeria would have no business engaging in these reckless move to fund overhead and theft.
“Even then, the meeting rejected the lopsided allocation of the proceeds of the huge latest external borrowing plan where the South-east of the country is totally excluded.”
While expressing concern over the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the Forum urged the federal government to redouble its ongoing efforts to protect lives of Nigerians over this plaque which has befallen the world.
In expressing grave concern over the deteriorating state of the country in particular as it pertains to the continued assault on peace and security leading to the continuous deaths of countless lives of Nigerians daily, the leaders reminded the federal government, that its primary responsibility under the laws of the country is to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.
On Boko Haram, the communique commended members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the field for the gallantry which they have continued to show under very difficult situations “and called on the people of the North-east, the area most affected by the insurgency to continue to support the members of the Armed Forces in their noble national service”.
The communique further stated that: “The Leaders reject the continued lopsided appointments within the federal government where only certain sections of the country are given priority over others as against the extant constitutional provisions.
“The leaders while congratulating the South-west for the regional Amotekun security architecture, noted with satisfaction the robust plans being made in the Middle Belt, South-east and the South-South to take similar steps”.