FG TO BORROW 29.9BN

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Femi Falana, human rights activist and Senior
Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has called on the
federal government to drop its plan to borrow
$29.960 billion to execute key projects across
the country.
The soft-spoken lawyer said the government
would be putting the collective destiny of the
younger generation in jeopardy should it go
ahead with the controversial decision.
Falana
President Muhammadu Buhari recently asked
the approval of the National Assembly to
borrow the said loan from the World Bank.
Falana, while speaking at the 2016 annual
general conference of Committee for Defence
of Human Rights (CDHR) in Lagos, urged the
federal government to source for funds locally.
The lawyer, who is a former president of
CDHR, said the government should use
recovered loot and go after chronic debtors to
fund its projects.
He said: “We hear that the federal government
wants to borrow 29 billion dollars to fund the
economy, my advice is we do not need to do
this at such a period in our economy.
“What about the millions of the recovered
loots from those who stole our money, our
money that are in the hands of those who
decided to steal from the treasury?
“I have a report from Nigeria Extractive
Transparency Initiative, NEITI which states that
the oil companies and NNPC are owing the
federal government a joint $20.2b.
“All these should be recovered and used for
these projects instead of putting the destiny of
the younger generation and those to come in
jeopardy as a result of the huge national debt
it will bring.”
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu
Buhari had sent a request to the House of
Representatives and Senate to borrow the
sum of $29.960 billion to provide infra­
structure and execute its safety net
programmes from 2016 to 2018.
The money, the President said, would be used
to finance projects with emphasis on
infrastructure, agriculture, health, education,
water supply, growth and employment
generation, poverty reduction through social
safety net programmes and governance and
financial management reforms among others.
He said the devastated North East Zone will
get the sum of $575 million from the loan.
Buhari said that proposed projects and
programmes will take the sum of 11.274
billion dollars, special national infrastructure
projects ($10.686 billion), Euro bonds ($4.5
billion) and Federal Government budget
support ($3.5 billion).

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