Don’t take that $2.5bn loan, Nigerians warn FG

Nigerians have expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of the Federal Government to borrow $2.5 billion from the World Bank.

In the opinion poll that reached 8, 392 people, with respondents posting over 60 comments and 19 shares, they in a unanimous submission argued against the Buhari administration’s intention to take a new loan from World Bank.

Some of the respondents to Sunday Tribune’s poll questioned the rationale of the Senate led by Ahmed Lawan in approving such loan request.

A Facebook user, Nnanna Aarons, said: “Any sensible government that took loan in the time past must see the positive impact before proposing another loan. The loans that were taken in the last four years, what were they used for and have we felt the impact?”

When asked if Nigeria should move forward with this new loan request, Aarons said: “The answer is capital NO. Any more loan taken must follow the channels, pipes, tunnels and holes through which the previous ones followed to wherever they are now. And I say here that this government is determined to borrow and borrow and borrow until they borrow Nigeria into permanent slavery.”

Another user, Kinsley Ogbonna queried: “Can the public be given a detailed description of how loans taken so far had been spent? A couple of days back, N100 billion was approved for ‘livestock’ business of few Nigerians. If that’s how the loans had been spent. Nigeria will die one day.”

Kenny Justina lamented that the impact of money borrowed by the government in times past has not been felt by the people. She said: “They are always borrowing but the impact of the money is not felt by the masses. It’s a shame because the government of the day rather releases billions (of naira) for the sake of their cows, other than creating employment for the rising population of unemployed youths in our country. Bad leadership has brought this country backwards.”

Idowu David on his part said: “We don’t need to borrow, we have all we need, cut the expenses of the senators, governors and every other thing that makes dollar high in Nigeria.”

An acclaimed economist, Ernest Joseph said further borrowing would affect the country.

“As an economist, the answer is capital NO! Why? The Nigerian economy is in really bad shape and borrowing further would make it worse; the naira as it stands today is weakened by import/export imbalance (trade balance deficit). Thanks to a government that does not encourage foreign and local investors.

“The borrowing is to service the executive arm of government which consume well over 70% of the nation’s budget in recurrent expenditures where it delivers nothing productively hence the level of corruption in Nigeria today is higher than it was a few years ago.

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On the solution to the borrowings, Joseph said: “Except the Nigerian economy is 70% self-reliant, the waste of potent resources will continue. The government should direct all available resources to capital projects which in itself yield returns and as a matter of urgency reduce the importation of expensive items such as cars, travelling abroad for health services and other unnecessary foreign expenses to save the economy. This act transfers our wealth/employment to other countries.”

Omotayo Seyi also said: “Reduce your salaries by 50% instead of increasing VAT by 50% to pay minimum wage – Emir of Kano tells Buhari, Osinbajo and Lawmakers. President Buhari’s total emoluments stand at N14M. Vice President Osinbajo’s total emoluments stand at N12M. Senators in Nigeria earn N36M. House Reps. Members earn N25M. It is only in Nigeria that Senators would earn higher than the President.

“My humble suggestion is that President Buhari should slash his salary by 50% making it N7M and his VP becomes N6M. Senators should earn N5M monthly while House of Reps members should earn N4M monthly instead of increasing VAT by 50%.

Iliya Musa outrightly said: “No, I am not in support of it.” Babangida Sani also said: “The FG shouldn’t take the loan.”

Peace Ichipi said: “It is serious shame that we continue to borrow, while a few political office holders live in affluence to the detriment of development.”

Another user, Rotimi Oluwole said: “The people behind the borrowing are wiser than the citizens. They are very much aware of the fact that the country will soon get to her final river of baptism as a nation of which nobody can easily predict the outcome.”

Agm Greenman queried why the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) kept mum over the loan request and other economic decisions of the Federal Government.

Greenman said: “They fail to implement minimum wage and NLC is quiet. They raised VAT by 7.5% and NLC is quiet. Now they introduce big fees for bank deposits and withdrawals and NLC is still quiet.

“Customers to pay more using POS. This is the end of electronic/wireless banking in Nigeria. Blame FG for killing Nigerian banks. Why should I bother to make transactions electronically when it is expensive to do so? Get ready to pay N50 for every POS transaction you make and in addition to already existing fees and NLC is quiet.

Wale Faromo asked that the Federal Government should rather withdraw from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), as it was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan. “$2.5billion request. Nawa o. But during Jonathan’s regime, $1billion was withdrawn from ECA to fight insurgency. So, who are we borrowing from when we have ECA?”

Ojimaojo Y. Abubakar said: “Federal government should put an end to borrowing money, because we have not seen the use of that money. Wait. What happened to Abacha loots, Ikoyi cash, bailing ‘thief’ politicians with huge amount of money, Dasukigate and many more. Where are these monies? Customs, FIRS and JAMB have remitted fund worth of trillions of naira, where are these monies? I hope they’re not playing with our future. We should put an end to all this please!”

Dozie Fontana said: “Borrowing to fund recurrent expenditure not capital projects to the regions that will generate income faster. Kangaroo government. Wait until Buhari renders all of us useless in this country you will know what’s up.”

Adeola Onitolo said: “The disputed loan will be looted on its arrival! What happened to Abacha’s recovered loot? I am yet to see its impact on the economy and the hoi poloi. The loan will be relooted back to where it comes from! It is laughable that senators and House of Representatives members are looking forward to purchasing exotic cars from foreign countries in the name of governance.”

Uzoma Micheal Sunday called for a reduction in the salaries of political officeholders. He said: “Does it mean our intellectuals are no longer working, or our economics are no longer in existence? For crying out loud, we don’t need a loan again, it’s high time they slashed salaries of politicians.”

John Lawson Obi asked that the Federal Government not to create crises with this new loan request which will pummel Nigeria into a debt crisis. He said: “They should keep borrowing until Nigeria is totally destroyed. That is the business target of this government. They have never shown Nigerians that they are here for any good reason except creating crises.”

While querying the loan request, Ayeni Olawumi berated the Senate for approving such. She said, “and unfortunately, the current crop of national assembly leadership is a rubber stamp.

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