A former Chairman of Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Shehu Sani, has explained why the request by Federal Government to borrow $30billion was turned down by the 8th Senate in 2016. President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on Thursday forwarded a similar request to the 9th Senate to reconsider and approve its 2016 to 2018 external borrowing plan.
Sani, who warned, in a statement, that Nigeria’s external debt from 2015 to date was on the increase, said: “We turned down the Federal Government loan request for $30billion to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap. We didn’t want our country to be recolonised by creditor banks.
“Our external debt in 2015 was $10.32billion and it escalated to $22.08billion in the second quarter this year, which is 114 percent increase. “If we had approved that loan request, our external debt could have catapulted to over $52billion and that is not sustainable.”He cautioned that with the current escalation of borrowing: “Nigeria will be walking into debt slavery and move from landlords to tenants in our country. They will always tell you that even America is borrowing and I don’t know how rational it is to keep borrowing because another country is borrowing.
“If we keep listening to bankers and contractors, we will keep borrowing and burying ourselves and leave behind for our children, a legacy of debt burden.“Loans are not charities. Most of those encouraging more borrowing are parasitic consultants, commission agents, rent-seeking fronts and contractors.”