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Former senator Shehu Sani, who was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt in the 8th National Assembly, has said the upper legislative chamber rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a $29.96bn loan in 2018 to save Nigeria from a debt trap.
Sani, in a statement on Friday, said, “We turned down the Federal Government loan request of $29.96bn to save Nigeria from sinking into the dark gully of a perpetual debt trap.”
He added that, “We don’t want our country to be recolonised by creditor banks.”
He said Nigeria’s external debt in 2015 was $10.32bn before Buhari began his tenure.
According to him, the figure escalated to $22.08bn in the second quarter this year, which represented a 114 per cent increase.
He said, “If we had approved that loan request, our external debt could have catapulted to over $52bn and that is not sustainable.
“With the current escalation of borrowing, we will be walking into debt slavery and move from landlords to tenants in our own country.
“They will always tell you that even America is borrowing and I don’t know how rational it is to keep on 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.”
Sani urged members of the senate to tread carefully in light of the implications of a huge debt burden.