A financial expert and Lead Director, Centre For Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose the terms and conditions attached to the foreign loans taken by his administration.
Onyekpere stated this in a chat with Saharareporters while reacting to a fresh request for another $5.513 billion foreign loans by the President last week.
He said Nigerians have the right to know all the conditions attached to such foreign loans in line with section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which stipulated the publication of financial transactions.
He said the refusal of the government to publish the conditions of the loans and allow it to be in the public domain was an indication that they have something to hide.
He said, “The terms and conditions of these loans are not in the public domain, particularly all the Chinese loans. What will be the conditions in case of default? We have heard about the conversion of national assets of some countries in Central Africa who defaulted in paying such loans.
“Those are the thing that needs to be put in the public domain so that Nigerians can talk about them and say yes or no to them, not when somebody wants to take over our airports, seaports or our crude oil resources.
“Another challenge is that we are borrowing at a time our revenue is decreasing, apart from the depreciation of the naira. Crude oil and gas are the major sources and almost 50% of our income, suddenly we are losing 40% of our revenue. It will put us in a more difficult condition in terms of repayment and undue foreign exchange risk.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the President’s request to take $22.7 billion in foreign loans after the lawmakers had kicked against the bill, forcing debates to be suspended.
The Senate had earlier given its nod to the request in March.