Friday, 15 April 2016

Fayose Asks China to Stop $2bn Loan to Nigeria

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has written to the Chinese Government, seeking the stoppage of the $2bn loan being sought by the Federal Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China this week was to discuss the development of the country’s infrastructure, including a $2bn loan for railway projects.

But Fayose in his letter to President Xi Jinping of China said Nigerians were “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.

“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.”


In the April 12 letter with reference number EK/GOV/28/10, which was delivered by Fayose’s Chief of Staff, Dipo Anisulowo, in Abuja on Thursday, to the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie, the governor said some of the projects for which the loan was being sought were not captured in the 2016 budget.

Anisulowo, who was accompanied by the Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Segun Adewumi; the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Gboyega Aribisogan; the Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Dr. Samuel Omotosho; and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said Fayose, who is in China, “will also deliver a copy of the letter directly to the Chinese President.”

The letter partly read, “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 $2bn loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.

“This $2bn loan is part of the N1.84tn 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 the Legislative arms of government.

“According to reports, Nigeria desires to raise about $5bn abroad to cover part of its 2016 budget deficit. This is projected to hit N3tn ($15bn) due to heavy infrastructure spending at a time when the slump in global oil prices has slashed the country’s export revenues.

“While conceding that all nations, especially developing ones, need support to be able to grow because no nation is an island, I am constrained to inform you that if the future of Nigeria must be protected, the country does not need any loan at this time.

“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.”



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