Analysis: Buhari excessive loans may trigger revolution

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… chanting of “we no gree, we no gree”, eminent

At what point would the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari stops borrowing from the Capital Market, foreign countries, IMF, AfDB etc?

To answer this question as paraphrased here to make it more comprehensive, the President Spokesman Femi Adesina while in May last month featuring on Southwest Political Circuit a popular political program aired on Fresh FM an Ibadan based radio station, said “Nigeria has more capacity to accommodate loans… This administration has taken a little over $20 billion loans… The loans are still within tolerable limits”.

Either by omission or commission the anchor of the program did not ask Adesina to tell the audience the ceiling to which Buhari can stop in his loans drives.

Should we ask President Buhari that question here, the question should be put to him with a warning that if he met Nigeria in a wide margin of loans capacity from independence till the advent of democracy in 1999, his administration alone from 2015 should not exhaust the rounds of loans opportunities and put Nigeria on the red line.

There have been past administrations in Nigeria before PMB in 2015. Taking the People Democratic Party – PDP administration from 1999 to 2015 for comparison to the incumbent All Progressive Congress- APC administration, PDP borrowed N6 trillion in 16 years while APC under Buhari borrowed N13 trillion only within his three and a half years in office.
Only within one year, 2018 to 2019 alone to be specific, President Buhari added N560 billion Naira to the rising debt profile he is creating for the country.

As at May 29, 2015 that PMB came to office, he met the country at N12 trillion debt. This debt was not accumulated by Goodluck Jonathan administration alone, but by all previous governments. But at the end of Buhari’s first term, his administration alone double what he met and left the country as at December 2018 at M24.3 trillion. Does this not call for questioning?

Loan, loan and loan in every quarter or the year. If not from the IMF, it should be from China or the Capital Market or elsewhere. But we are told Buhari government is borrowing to develop the country and to better the lots of citizens but in early 2018, findings by the Brookings Institutes, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, America, made a publication indicating that Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor in early 2018 with six persons becoming poor every minute.

The report said, “At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall”. The Brooking Institutes said.

Nigeria has been serially described as the headquarters of poverty in the world. Bill Gates told Buhari in 2018 that he is administring Nigeria with a template not compatible with the realities of the country. Transparency International said Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is more corrupt than before. Hence Nigeria ranked 146th out of 180 countries on 2019 corruption perception index, Transparency International said.

Because countries and banks we go to borrow money don’t trust us and respect us anymore: Early this year Kristalina Georgieva the Managing Director of International Monetary Funds while approving $3.4 billion loan which President Buhari called “Emergency Financial Assistance” told him to keep all the receipts of all expenditures on the loan he just received. What can be more embarrassing and shameful than this for a sovereign State?

In January 2020 Africa Development Bank AfDB and IMF rejected Buhari $29 billion loan.
As he was turned down by the regional bank and IMF, he moved on to the National Assembly to apply for a loan of N850 billion Naira which he want to secure from the Capital Market. The National Assembly quickly approved that for him.

While the Senate has again approved an additional loan of $22.79 billion, the House of Representatives is studying the necessity of that loan to concur the Senate approval. While they are still on it, President Buhari forwarded another letter to NASS seeking for approval to borrow another $5.513 billion to finance the 2020 budget.

To what extend would this current APC government borrows? Femi Adesina replies that Buhari government will stop borrowing when they have stretched our debt capacity to the red line.

Recently and precisely on the May 4, 2020 the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami confirmed the receipt of another Abacha loot from USA amounting to over $311million.

Of all the repatriations of Abacha loot from Swissbank, UK, USA and other countries since 1998, PMB administration is the highest recipient. In 2018, he got $322 million from Swissbank, early this year the US repatriated $308 million to the coffer of the Federal Government of Nigeria, in may 2020 while President Buhari had already secured N850 million loan from the capital market, the United States of America repatriated $311 million of Abacha’s loot to Buhari’s government.
The total of Abacha loot already received by PMB is $941 million yet, he is still borrowing.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration whom APC government always finds to be hindrance to their poor performance got only $227 million of Abacha loot once in 2014 and that was all, and yet he borrowed far less than Buhari.

With the volume of borrowing, President Buhari / APC have placed our nation on the international auction market, PDP says.

SEE FEW LOANS BELLOW APPLIED AND COLLECTED SO FAR

Under five years, President Buhari has borrowed from every corner of the world. These include external borrowing of $10.72 billion (N4.1 trillion) in 2015, $11.41 billion (N4.4 trillion) in 2016, $18.91 billion (N7.3 trillion) in 2017, $25.27 billion (N9.8 trillion) in 2018, $27.68 billion (N10.7 trillion) in 2019 as well as 2020 loans of $3.4 billion (N1.3 trillion) from IMF, $4.4 million (N1.594 billion) internal borrowing, $22.7 billion (N8.8 trillion) external loan and the recently yet to be approved $5.513 billion (N2.1 trillion) waiting before the National Assembly. Where is this administration leading Nigeria to?

PMB customary loan drives is becoming annoying, provocative and call for questioning. More so that the quantum of monies harvested here and there are not seen and felt by the poor who constitutes the largest fraction of Nigeria population.

PMB government only takes pleasures in justifying the appropriation and expenditure of all these loans and other accruals with rhetorics such as their new song called ” Social Cash Transfer” where he claims to be sending monies to the poor all over Nigeria. How does he do it? When was it done? Show us the list of beneficiaries and their contacts? He claims he feeds pupils at home on what he calls “School Feeding Program” For crying out low, we are all here, but nobody can attest to it. Whose children is he feeding? Where? When? In which States? PMB government makes capital of the vulnerable poor, exploits the complesant nature of Nigerians, their poor estates which makes them completely incapicitated to call the government to account for the country common patrimony.

Last week a civil society organization Socio-Ecomic Rights and Accountability Project – SERAP while drawing its strength from the Freedom of Information Act had sent a seven day ultimatum letter to President Muhammadu Buhari to furnished it (SERAP) with details expenditures and location of projects Buhari government uses all the loan monies to execute.

The People Democratic Party – PDP in the other flank through its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan is alerting the nation of Buhari endless borrowing. The alarm triggered at various corners of the county by concerned citizens and groups is a seeming mobilization of the masses to an eminent ” we no gree, we no gree” chaos.

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About Samuel Abasiekong 150 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, National Convener of National Public Interest Group - NPIG, Secretary Uyo Division of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9NewsNG

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