Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state who has been very vocal against President Buhari’s administration has called on the Chinese government not to grant the request for a $2 billion loan by the Federal government, saying Nigerians are opposed to it.
The letter was delivered by Fayose’s Chief of Staff, Barrister Dipo Anisulowo, in Abuja on Thursday, through the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie. According to the governor’s media aide, Lere Olayinka, Fayose who is also in China for the country’s Import and Export fair will deliver the letter to the Chinese President himself.
Read parts of the letter:
I write as one of the major stakeholders in the project Nigeria, and a governor of one of the federating units making up Nigeria, to draw your attention to report that the Federal Government of Nigeria is on the verge of obtaining a $2 billion loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
This $2 billion loan is part of the N1.84 trillion the Federal Government of Nigeria has proposed to borrow to finance the 2016 budget, which is yet to be signed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari owing to unending controversies between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
According to reports, Nigeria desires to raise about $5 billion abroad to cover part of its 2016 budget deficit. This is projected to hit N3 trillion ($15 billion) due to heavy infrastructure spending at a time when the slump in global oil prices has slashed the country’s export revenues.
Most importantly, Nigeria is presently servicing debt with about 25 per cent of its annual budget and what will happen to the economy in 2017, when the country will begin to service the additional debt to be incurred this year is better imagined than experienced. The Chinese government must also be aware that some western nations approached by the Federal Government for loan diplomatically declined.
This must have been informed by the suspicion in the present government’s capacity to salvage the nation’s economy as well as the sincerity in the fight against corruption. More so that Nigeria’s Foreign Reserve, which is the only guarantee for foreign loan has declined to a very uncomfortable level.
The government of China should be mindful of the fact that Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations are totally opposed to increment of the country’s debt burden, which is already being serviced with 25 per cent of the Federal Government annual budget.