$22.7bn loan request: CUPP drags President, NASS, others to Court

 The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) on Monday dragged the President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and lenders to court over the $22.7 billion loan request of the President.

The Coalition has also warned the leaders, especially China, African Development Banks and other foreign partners against granting Federal Government the $22.7 billion loan request.

The CUPP urged the Federal High Court to stop President Buhari from borrowing or accessing the loan.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, warned leaders to halt any approval or disbursement or risk losing their money in view of pending case.

The CUPP also berated the Senate for approving the loan request even without seeing the breakdown of the loan expenses as required by law.

Expressing concern over the loan, Ugochinyere said  the request was to sink Nigeria into economic slavery and financial colonialism.

He said: “The Nigerian Opposition Coalition (CUPP) acting through one of the registered political parties/coalition member has just commenced a legal offensive to stop the proposed borrowing of the sum of $22.7billion by the Buhari government and also written to all the lenders to halt the loan request in view of the pending legal action.

“The loan being sourced from various international lenders is viewed by the opposition as a poorly executed plan to sell Nigeria into economic slavery and financial colonialism for which Nigeria was redeemed by the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

“We declare that the loan request by the President is the greatest singular act of disservice any leader could have done to this country. The loan request is riddled with project lopsidedness, lack of financial prudence, secrecy, plan to use loan for frivolous projects, over costing of projects, corruption, misapplication and incompetence.

“Nigerians must know that of this loan, consultants are expected to take an alleged whopping 40% of the loan while projects are to purportedly take the remaining 60 per cent.”

Explaining why they decided to head to court, spokesman alleged that the money is being sourced for to prosecute the 2023 general elections and not for the pretence of infrastructural development which it shoddily presented to the National Assembly.

The CUPP also appealed to the House of Representatives not to approve the loan being sought by President Buhari, saying the loan has dire future consequences on Nigeria and its citizens.

The Coalition urged the lenders to realise Buhari had just three years to be in power, adding that the next administration would be controlled by the opposition and will not honour the loan request and its repayment if it was granted to the government through process not transparent.

Berating the Senate, the CUPP said: “We, therefore, condemn the rubber stamp leadership of the Senate for forcing through the approval of the loan by the Senate even when Senators had not seen the breakdown of the loan expenses as required by law.

“The Senate leadership has clearly and unambiguously shown it is not on the side of the people and it is not representing the Nigerian people but their selfish interest. There unpatriotic stand on national issues and lack of vision has become all the more apparent and have turned the Senate into a chamber filled by Political Allelluya boys.

“The exchange rate of the Dollars due to certain vagaries including gross mismanagement of our economy is now chasing N400 to a Dollar.”

“This means that at this rate, the $22.7billion foreign loan will be equivalent of Nine Trillion and Eighty Billion Naira only (N9,080,000,000,000). This is more than the entire 2019 budget and just a little less than the entire 2020 budget. How can a government borrow its entire budget yet citizens are in doubt as to the contents of the loan package? This loan request is the height of Buhari’s APC led government’s insensitivity, irresponsibility and wickedness.

“Both indigenous and foreign experts have pointed out the unsustainable trajectory of our country’s debt with the current upswing in borrowings, Nigerians will one day wake up to find that they are now tenants in their own houses.

“The Muhammadu Buhari regime would have sold our dear country to China and some nations in Europe. The opposition cannot sit and watch Buhari squander our present and our children’s future. Our nation’s leaders worked hard to clear Nigeria’s foreign debt after the return of democracy in 1999 and opposition would not allow any government to “plunge Nigeria back into another debt.

“It has become manifestly clear to the Nigerian people that what our President Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Rtd needs is ideas and competent hands and not the 22.7 billion dollars foreign loan request.

“The problem with Nigeria is not lack of money but lack of governance capacity in the regime which from all available indices has made our economy worse, security precarious and life very cheap.

“This regime is indeed a disaster. It is peopled by political alleluia boys. We warned of the lack of capacity by the APC and their master whose idea of koboko economics is now outdated. It is a government high in sound but empty in ideas parading students of home economics who grandstand as world class economists.

“We have a government that is more interested in its uninhibited quest for power and holding unto power than knowing what to do with the power for the benefit of the people.

“After hijacking the Parliament, emasculating the judiciary and crushing the electoral process Nigerians are now faced with the consequences of a regime that is hustling like traders in Alaba market for Chinese and other foreign loans. Nigeria has now been thrown into a state of economic hiatus and quagmire. This is a loan bazaar, a frivolous borrowing, unsustainable come and chop and modern day slavery.

“Unemployment, insecurity, crushing debt burden, unbridled corruption, emasculation of government institutions, impunity etc are now the order of the day. Otherwise, how could a government want to borrow $500 million (Five Hundred Million Dollars) which is the equivalent of N200, 000, 000, 000:00 (Two Hundred Billion Naira) only just to pump into its  propaganda TV machinery called NTA.

“This is a television station that is not commercially viable but only carries government propaganda which the government does not even pay for. What then is the business plan for the recovery of this loan or is the government comfortable to tell Nigerians that citizens should pay for their propaganda?

“Let NTA be made viable by airing other views and they will generate revenue like AIT, TVC, Channels, STV etc. Allowing the loan will be condoning evil most especially under a government which budgeted only about $500 million for its education sector despite having over 15 million out of school children is earmarking the same amount for just propaganda machinery upgrade.

“In view of the above we call on the House of Representatives to redeem the image of the Nigerian Parliament already compromised by the Senate and serve as the true representative of the people by officially rejecting the dangerous loan request or  ensuring the proposal is revisited by ensuring project balancing, removal of frivolous items that cannot repay the loan, removal of the outrageous alleged 40% payable to consultants and eventual reduction of the amount and setting up of mechanism to monitor the disbursement.

“Nigerians must rise and stop Gen Buhari and his APC political alleluia boys from plunging Nigeria into her worst economic crisis and bankruptcy.

“Furthermore, in view of the lopsidedness of the projects, the frivolous nature of some of the projects, the lack of evidence of the economic viability of the projects, inflated cost of the projects, lack of competency and transparency to monitor the loan disbursement, over bloated cost to consultants, the Nigeria opposition Coalition CUPP in pursuit of public interest of Nigerians including the unborn generation who are the ones largely to pay for the avarice of this government today launched multiple legal offensives with public interest suits filed at the Federal High Court seeking to stop the move by Buhari led Federal Government to borrow away the future of Nigeria and sell Nigeria into economic slavery and irredeemable financial hiatus with the $22.7b loan plan.

“The opposition has also written letters of petition to the foreign lenders to halt the process of continuing the consideration for the $22.7b loan, we have warned them to save their money for now and await the outcome of the Court action which we believe will put paid to this fiscally irresponsible move.

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