Refrain from reckless loan approvals , Social Action charges NationalAssembly

A civil society organization,Social Action, has slammed the recent approval by the National Assembly for Edo State to borrow $75 million from the World bank.

A statement on Wednesday by Vivian Bellonwu,head, Social Action Abuja said “In a country where over two – thirds of its federating states has gone  bankrupt and unable to meet statutory obligations as basic as payment  of workers’ wages, the National Assembly should have known and infact  ought to know that what is needed now are pragmatic steps to return  these states onto the path of economic wellbeing instead of approvals  for more loans as it recently granted to Edo state to borrow a  whopping sum of $75 million from the World bank.

She said “With Nigeria currently grappling with yet another loan burden and the  fear of repayment following profound indebtedness of several states,  ministries and agencies of the country, the National Assembly needs  refrain from worsening the hardship of Nigerians through gratuitous  loan approvals.

According to Social Action,”This latest loan approval for Edo state is not only unjustifiable but  a sad disservice to the poor suffering masses of the state that no  doubt will bear the burden of these debts. Evidence on ground show  that the Edo state government has not sufficiently matched the several  loans it has acquired over the years with commensurate infrastructural  development and service delivery.

“ It is also on record that the  nation’s Debt Management Office, D.M.O, had in March, 2013, warned  some states including Edo state to refrain from further borrowings  given the unduly unsustainable high profile these states had reached  in indebtedness. Edo state which ranks among the most indebted states  in the country with an external debt of $123.1 million as at December,  2014 and an equally staggering sum of N48,190,150, 127.26 billion in  domestic debt as of December 2013 also has a history of poor  procurement practices.

The civil society organization   stated further that  “Indices have also shown that virtually all the loans obtained by  authorities in the country (on the behalf of Nigerians) were all  either misappropriated or outrightly stolen; none achieved what it was  obtained for. On the other hand, similar indicators also show that it  is the ordinary Nigerian citizens that bear the burden of these loans  as was evidently demonstrated with the states salary crisis.

Also , the Programmes Manager of Social Development Integrated  Centre (Social Action) Mr Ken Henshaw, “what I expect the National  Assembly to do with regards to the debt crisis currently facing the  country is to institute full scale investigation of all the loan  acquisitions by states, ministries, agencies and departments in the  country in order to ascertain the state of these loans with a view to  recovering non-performing ones instead of approving more loans that  are likely going to end up the way of the previous ones”.

Social  Action ,therefore  called  “ on the National Assembly to halt any further approval of loans  for any state, ministry or agency in the country until full audit of  the loans have been carried out and their application established.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *