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 $27 billion loan: Southern, Mid-Belt leaders reject Nigeria’s borrowings

$27 billion loan: Southern, Mid-Belt leaders reject Nigeria’s borrowings

TODAY.NG

The Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has ex­pressed concern over Nigeria’s worsening debt cri­sis, saying the Federal Gov­ernment should stop engag­ing in reckless borrowings.

The forum also lamented the inability of the Federal Government to mobilise na­tional consensus to confront the monumental tragedies bedevilling the country, es­pecially the security of lives and property.

It expressed these views in a joint statement issued at the end of an extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Sunday.

The leaders of the forum include Chief Edwin Clark (chairman); Chief Ayo Ade­banjo (co-chairman), who stood in for Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti; Chief Nnia Nwodo, president, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Air Com­modore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), national chairman, PANDEF; Dr. Pogu Bitrus, President, Middle Belt Fo­rum, and Yinka Odumakin, Secretary.

In the statement, the lead­ers also condemned lopsided appointments by the Muham­madu Buhari administration which, according to them, favoured one section of the country against others.

They said: “The meeting deliberated exhaustively on various prominent national issues.

“It expresses concern over the recent coronavirus pan­demic and urges the Federal Government to redouble on the on-going efforts to protect the lives of Nigerians over this plague which has befall­en the world.

“Expresses grave concern over the deteriorating state of the nation, in particular as it pertains to the continued assault on peace and securi­ty leading to the continuous deaths of countless lives of Nigerians every day.

“In this respect, it reminds the Federal Government that its primary responsibility under the laws of the coun­try is to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. It, therefore, expects that full attention will be given to this matter.

“Commends members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the field for the gallantry which they have continued to show under very difficult situations and calls on the people of the North East, the area most affected by the insurgency, to continue to support the members of the Armed Forces in their noble national service.

“Rejects in total the con­tinuous external debt of the country which has risen to over $80 billion in just few years and, therefore, asks the Federal Government to rescind its ongoing effort to borrow more money to the tune of over $27 billion as approved by the National Assembly.

“It asserts that if not for bad governance, Nigeria would have no business en­gaging in these recklessness to fund overhead and theft.

“Even then, the meeting rejects the lopsided allocation of the proceeds of the huge latest external borrowing plan where the South East of the country is totally ex­cluded.

“The leaders reject the continued lopsided appoint­ments within the Federal Government where only cer­tain sections of the country are given priority over others as against the extant consti­tutional provisions.

“The leaders again con­gratulate the South West for the regional Amotekun se­curity architecture and have noted with satisfaction the robust plans being made in the Middle Belt, South East, and the South-South to take similar steps.”

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