Senate’s approval of $22.7bn FG loan request unconstitutional — HURIWA •Threatens to head for court

Posted by News Express | 6 March 2020 | 726 times

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•The Senate in session

The civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of (HURIWA), has described as “vexatiously unconstitutional” the decision of the Ahmed Lawan-led Senate to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $22.7 billion despite objection from some Senators.

The rights group which expressed fears that the foreign loans would “inevitably” be re-looted by government officials, says it offends several provisions of the Nigerian constitution including sections 16(1); (2) of the Nigerian constitution which opposes excessive borrowings that make Nigeria a slave of external jurisdictions and impedes the nation’s drive for self reliance.

HURIWA submitted that the constant flying around cap-in-hand by President Buhari to borrow from all conceivable creditors from all around the world is tantamount to converting Nigeria to a beggarly economy which is against these constitutional provisions.

It stated in a media statement on Thursday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said: “We all know that when Nigeria had an activist National Assembly headed by Senator Bukola Saraki, this move by President Buhari to mortgage Nigeria into the enslavement of the Chinese creditor was rejected. 

“Then in 2019 the President who worked tirelessly to destabilise the then National Assembly using primitive force of arm had sent the loan request to the Senate but was rejected by the upper legislative chamber under the leadership of Saraki.

“However, we have been informed now that during March 05, 2020 plenary, despite the fact that the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, cautioned against considering all recommendations on the loan request at once, the lame-duck and rubber-stamped Senate under the rudderless headship of Ahmed Lawan accepted hook-line and sinker this toxic loan request by the President which will effectively return Nigeria to the inglorious infamy of belonging to the notoriously disreputable class of heavily indebted nation which we had exited during the President Olusegun Obasanjo era. 

“Through the interventions of the globally-trusted and tested world's renowned technocrat Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister, Nigeria got the London and Paris Clubs of creditors to write off the country's nearly $30 billion accumulated loans for the payment of a one-off $15 billion.

“Now, the current administration has brought us right back to the status of a heavily indebted nation and worst still these huge funds would be siphoned like all the revenues generated by Customs, Federal Inland Revenue Services and from the exports of crude oil to the international market.”

HURIWA applauded Senator Abaribe who stated that the Senate should consider the recommendations “item by item” but his suggestion was dismissed by the Senate President even as the intense disagreement made the Senate to go into an executive session where it was agreed that the loan be approved.

“Nigeria has from this moment become a slave except HURIWA and all other concerned Nigerians can use the courts of law to try to save Nigeria from the imminent enslavement.

“We call on good spirited individuals to support this advocacy to use the court system to stop the government from proceeding to obtain these toxic loans,” the group said.

Source: News Express

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