Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose queried the rationale behind Federal Government’s request of a $2 billion loan from China, when it (government) had claimed earlier to have recovered and still recovering trillions of Naira looted from the treasury.
Governor Fayose told the Chinese government in a letter to President XI Jinping that, President Buhari had also claimed that Nigeria has enough money accrued from the implementation of the Treasury Single Account and increased tax revenues.
He urged the Beijing government to reject the request saying, “The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has also said that it will generate not less than N4.5 trillion this year. What then is the rationale behind the $2 billion loan from China?”
“It is also important for the Government of China to note that the Federal Government of Nigeria claimed to have recovered and still recovering trillions of naira allegedly looted from the treasury. For instance, over $200 billion is expected to be recovered from Dubai, the United Arab Emirate while N3 trillion was said to have been saved from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Mr Fayose said, “the government of China should be mindful of the fact that Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, are totally opposed to increment of the country’s debt burden, which is already being serviced with 25 per cent of the Federal Government yearly budget.”
In the letter delivered by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Dipo Anisulowo to the Chinese Ambassador Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie, the governor said, some of the projects for which the loan was been sought were not captured in the 2016 budget, now awaiting President Buhari’s assent.
The letter read in part: “I write as one of the major stakeholders in the project Nigeria, and a governor of one of the federating units making up Nigeria, to draw your attention to report that the Federal Government of Nigeria is on the verge of obtaining a $2 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
“This $2 billion loan is part of the N1.84 trillion the Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed to borrow to finance the 2016 budget, which is yet to be signed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, owing to unending controversies between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.”
“The government of China should be mindful of the fact that Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations are totally opposed to increment of the country’s debt burden, which is already being serviced with 25 per cent of the Federal Government annual budget.
“It will interest the government of China to know that some of the projects for which the loan is being sought are not captured in the controversial 2016 budget, which has been sent to the President by the National Assembly for his assent. For instance, the Lagos – Calabar Rail project was not included in the budget proposal the President presented to the National Assembly and it was not included in the Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly.
“Most importantly, Nigeria is presently servicing debt with about 25 per cent of its annual budget and what will happen to the economy in 2017, when the country will begin to service the additional debt to be incurred this year is better imagined than experienced.
“Therefore, like the foreign aid that is reportedly being mismanaged, whatever loan that is granted to the Federal Government of Nigeria by the Chinese Government may be mismanaged too.”
The Chinese government must also be aware that some western nations approached by the Federal Government for loan diplomatically and cleverly declined.