News (pix: Rotimi Amaechi)
Chinese loan: PDP demands review of Nigeria’s loan agreements
Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants the National Assembly to review all foreign loan agreements entered into by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government with lending nations and institutions.
The party said such has become necessary following the revelation of obnoxious clauses in the agreements entered by the present administration in the $500 million loan deal with Chinese lenders.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, called for urgent steps to retrieve the country from lending nations.
The party recalled its warning on May 28 this year, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the APC had placed Nigeria on the international auction market with accumulation of foreign loans under nebulous terms.
It noted that the latest revelations from the National Assembly had vindicated its stand that “the APC has been secretly mortgaging the sovereignty of our nation to benefit its selfish leaders,” and described the attempts by the administration to justify it as reprehensible.
PDP said the loan agreement grossly violated the fundamentals of the Nigerian constitution “as a self-governing state, which grant no space for any form of takeover of any of our national interests by foreigners, under any condition whatsoever.
“Moreover, such mortgaging of our sovereignty in a loan agreement is in further violation of the oath of office of the president to protect the interest of the sovereignty of our nation.
“This gambling with our sovereignty amounts to an unpardonable treachery against our nation and the future of our generations yet unborn particularly given the level of incompetence, corruption, treasury looting, as well as betrayal of public trust by officials of the APC administration, which President Buhari had also confirmed.”
The party expressed worry by what it described as arrogance being displayed by some officials of the Buhari administration who, rather than being remorseful, are challenging Nigerians and the National Assembly over the matter.
“The attitude of government officials including the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who instead of taking steps to reassure Nigerians, is referring to ceding of control and ownership of assets in the event of default, further raises questions regarding the reliability of the current administration,” the party said.
According to the PDP, the demand for such toxic terms by the Chinese lenders underscores the loss of confidence by the international community in the Buhari administration.