Trading Nigeria’s sovereignty for loan, height of irresponsibility ― Atiku
• says $500m loan for NTA will lead to Nigeria's death • tasks FG to apologise to Nigerians, tap on private investments
Former Vice President of Nigeria and Wazirin, Atiku Abubakar has said, to negotiate Nigeria’s Sovereignty over a loan was irresponsible.
Atiku who took a swipe on the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government said the pattern of loans procured by the ruling federal government would lead to the death of the country.
“To trade Nigeria’s sovereignty for this type of profligacy is the height of irresponsibility!” The former Vice President decried.
Atiku who said he has longed expressed his concerns over the pattern of loans sourced by the government tasked the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to apologize to Nigerians for undermining the nation’s sovereignty while seeking loans.
“The government of the day and the APC must apologize to Nigerians and make an admittance of guilt for taking the country through the throes of subjugation to another country,” Atiku stated.
Atiku who made this demand in a statement released by his media office said it was illogical to take a loan of $500m to fund a social service infrastructure like the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
He said loans of this nature that do not fund critical infrastructure for human capital development would only compromise the future of the country and weaken her resolve all issues.
The statement by the former vice President reads in part: Two months ago, the former Vice President of Nigeria and PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar patriotically called the attention of the country to the reality of reckless borrowing by the present APC administration and how the terms of those loans could compromise the future of the country.
“Expectedly, some managers of the party and even the government denied the allegations that he raised and also discount the warning for caution.
“But, regrettably, just last week, a cabinet minister confirmed our fears. Now, we all are aware that Nigeria’s sovereignty may have been traded for foreign loans and God forbids our inability to service those loans, the lender country would take ownership of choice infrastructure on the Nigerian soil. No negotiation could be weaker than that!
“Nigeria had a total foreign debt stock of $7.02 billion on May 29, 2015. Today, our foreign debt is $23 billion and rapidly rising. Debt, by itself, is not a bad thing. But debt budgeted for such unproductive ventures, like the proposed $500 million upgrades of the Nigerian Television Authority and other sundry bogus contracts, is debt that leads to death.
The statement said Atiku had long advocated for a more robust engagement of the private sector and promotion of foreign direct investment as sustainable alternatives through which government could fund infrastructure development.
According to the Wazirin Adamawa, “on the contrary, the Nigerian government under the banner of the All Progressives Congress threaded the direction of looking for cheap foreign loans in exchange for the sovereignty for Nigeria.”
He said that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration initiated a National Privatization Programme with the sole objective of ensuring that the private sector took some measure of influence in the social investment portfolio and, in some instances, provided funding for infrastructure development.
Atiku said there was nothing in that plan that traded Nigeria’s sovereignty for some cheap loans which, in the light of unfolding revelations of sleaze in some departments of government, would have ended in private pockets. This is similar to how binary options trading in Nigeria works.