Rejecting Buhari’s loan request saved Nigeria from debt trap -Okorie


The presidential candidate of the United Progressives Party in the last general election, Dr. Chekwas Okorie, has applauded the Senate’s rejection of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s proposal to borrow an external loan of $29.960 billion.
Okorie said the decision had saved the nation from falling victim to another debt trap.
The UPP presidential standard bearer said in an exclusive interview with our correspondent that inspite of the ongoing debate on the issue, Nigeria did not need such a huge borrowing to combat the current economic problems.
“Senate understands the implication of having such a huge budget now and I believe that the reason they took the decision is genuine. At this critical moment of this country, I don’t believe that borrowing is what will save us from the present economic mess that we find ourselves. It is not the only way by which Nigeria can be out of economic recession. Moreover, what of the 6trillion looted funds recovered? This money is enough to fix this economy, if that is the reason the president is giving.
“Borrowing at this time will put us in another problem that our children will be battling with in future. We all know what it took Obasanjo to reduce our debts during his tenure. Borrowing money now is putting the future of our children and this country in danger, because we don’t know how long we will be free from it.
“We have a lot of means to be out of economic recession. We have the man power and resources capacity; we have other resources that can be harnessed to generate revenue for this country. It is time we started looking at how we can survive on our own as a country,” Okorie said.
He added that though he would not discourage the President from taking steps that would benefit the country, taking such a huge loan at a time like this could prove disastrous for the country.
“It is not that borrowing is a bad thing, at least, USA and other developed countries borrow and owe. But that should not become a tradition for us in this country. We should start looking inward and see how we can move this country forward for our children,” Okorie said.
Meanwhile, the Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has said senators voted against President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for $29.9bn foreign loan due to technical issues.
He maintained that, “The problem came on a technical ground; it is supposed to go to the committee level and the committee is supposed to take a look at it.
“I am going to appeal to my colleagues to take a look at it again and see how we are going to bring it back.
“One of the technical things that were missing is that in the letter, if you read it, says: ‘attached is a draft’ but there was no attachment. “So, these are some of the lapses that we will look at in bringing it back. “We were thinking that there was going to be details but there was no detail of the borrowing plan. “I believe that those will be included in the next one.” Ndume further said, “I cannot tell you now when it would be re-presented; I, as a leader, I am in contact with the Executive, which I try to market in the Senate.”