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Groups urge FG to place embargo on loans

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Groups, including Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and African Forum for Debt and Development, (AFRODAD) and others, have warned the Federal Government against taking new loans. They advised the government to take concrete steps to improve Domestic Resource Mobilisation at all levels of government.

In a communiqué, yesterday, they said the decision to mount pressures on government to desist from further collection of loan was arrived at during a one-day debt advocacy meeting, which was part of campaign on debt management initiatives. 

They observed with dismay “the weak fiscal responsibility and its impact on transparency and accountability claims of government in the loan and debts management” and called for debt relief for Nigeria and other poor countries amid COVID-19, as recently discussed during the G-20 meeting in the Republic of Saudi Arabia.

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While admonishing the authority to deepen the war against corruption and increase monitoring of use of currently procured loans to prevent looting, the groups demanded public debt audit from 2010 to 2020 with a view to identifying gaps that would help “prevent frivolous and reckless spending of procured loans. “

They suggested that “all future loans should be channelled to projects and services that can repay such loans.”

The communiqué was jointly signed by Leo Atakpu for ANEEJ; Lukman Adefolahan of 21st Century Community Empowerment for Youth & Women Initiatives; Taiwo Akerele, Policy House International; Tijani Abdulkareem, Social Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC); Joshua Felix, Civil Society Organisations, Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE); 

Maryam Garba, Fahimta Women & Youth, Adeduntan Adewale, Action Aid Nigeria; Joseph Gimba, Centre for Peace Education and Community Development; Bibian Ama, Society for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN) and Emmanuella Nwahisi, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD).

They agreed that debts sustainability analysis needed to be reviewed constantly to meet the current realities amid the pandemic and urged multilateral donors to tighten conditionalities attached to their loans “to reduce ‘quick take’ syndrome.” 

They advised government to encourage private participation in infrastructural development by creating an enabling environment, including guaranteeing of loans for large-scale projects and divests itself from such ventures going forward. 

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