The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has condemned the Federal Government’s action on the loan arrangements with China, saying “the Buhari government has embarked on a suicidal mission that will push the Nigerian economy to its kneels”.
The group, in a statement, by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Oguntimehin, expressed worry that with the various loan arrangements by the federal government, there is no doubt that Buhari’s government is deeply interested in mortgaging the future of the country, thus making the southwest the greatest loser and the poorest in the country.
Oguntimehin, however, wondered if there would be a country called Nigeria after 2023,stressing that the present economic situation in the country portends grave danger.
He said Nigeria needs no heavenly diviner to tell the poor direction of government.
“I have no doubt that the prolonged brouhaha generated by the current loan arrangements with the Chinese government is never in the interest of the entire country. How can you explain the rationale behind the FG loan arrangements?
“It is obvious that the FG is up to something sinister because all available indices have it that the Nigerian economy is gradually moving downwards”
“Today, our naira is N470 to a dollar. What that means is that our naira is falling daily to the American dollar”
The OPC Publicity Scribe also noted that the financial recklessness of both the past and present administrations actually pushed the country’s economy into the woods, saying ordinary Nigerians are really suffering from this.
“The Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) was established in 1913, even before the Nigerian independence in 1960. It is sad that one of our national heritage and institutions in the South was being mortgaged and considered as one of the assets and monuments for the payment plan with the China government.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said it will take the Federal Government about 20 years to pay back the loan. This is so tempting, especially as the Federal Government failed to judiciously utilise the previous loans they had secured”.
“This is how it has always been even when our economy was buoyant and crude oil was selling for over $100 per barrel, especially now that things have changed and the Nigerian economy is presently in bad shape with the crash in the price of our crude oil in the international market”, he said.
“The controversial sovereign guarantee and sovereign immunity clause in the loan arrangement with China has raised many questions about the sincerity of federal government, and as a group we can not keep quiet as if we nothing is wrong. Nobody truly understands the drift of this government”
“We have a strong feeling that the North is suspecting that Nigeria will not last beyond 2023, that is why they are mortgaging the future of the entire nation with bad loans, and sadly they are using Amaechi and his allies from the South to perpetrate their sinister plans.
Meanwhile, the minister had, in the wake of the controversies raised by the loan arrangements, said the government needed the loans to boost infrastructure in the country, adding that in the case of a default, only the assets constructed with such a loan would be taken back.
“The Chinese is just asking us to show them the evidence that we will pay back, which is the immunity clause. If we don’t pay, they can take back their assets”, he said.
The minister also admitted that the payment plan was purely the responsibility of the ministry of finance, and the Ministry of transportation was supposed to implement the contract.
However, Oguntimehin, while urging the FG to learn from history, cited the case of Zimbabwe, saying any attempt to put the nation up for sale through suspicious loan arrangements will surely lead Nigeria to economic regression.