22.7bn loan request: Igbo group petitions China Exim Bank

22.7bn loan request: Igbo group petitions China Exim Bank

- The $22.7bn loan request recently approved by the Senate for the Nigerian government is still generating furore in the polity

- A southeast group, Igbo Board of Deputies has petitioned China Exim Bank

- The southeast was left out in the infrastructural development captured in the loan

A southeast group has petitioned the China Exim Bank to suspend or cancel the $22.7 billion loan due to the Nigerian government.

In a letter to the Chinese bank, the Igbo Board of Deputies warned that it would join the bank in the suit against the Nigerian government if it fails to heed to its demand.

22.7bn loan request: Igbo group petitions China Exim Bank

The government of President Buhari has been criticized severally for its mounting international debt
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Daily Sun reports that the letter was signed and delivered by one Mr Austin Okeke at the bank's office in Johannesburg on Wednesday, March 11.

The group insisted that the bank suspends disbursement of the loan or cancel it in the alternative until Nigeria revised or amended the way she intends to allocate the loans and includes projects in the southeast region of the country

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Part of the letter read: “We shall join China Exim Bank as a defendant party to the lawsuit against the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We say so because we do not guarantee the repayment of these loans by the other federating units of Nigeria in so far as the deliberate discrimination against the Igbo in Nigeria persists.”

Recall that the southeast caucus in the Nigerian Senate recently held an emergency meeting over the issue.

Leader of the caucus and former deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said the group will engage all stakeholders to ensure that the southeast is accommodated in the loan.

Meanwhile, economic experts have expressed worry that Nigeria's debt is now N33.078trillion under President Muhammadu Buhari with nothing to show for it.

Economic expert, Sam Chidoka, said: “We have to be careful not to get into an unsustainable debt situation. We must use these loans for projects that have a direct impact on the economy and that can generate cash flow like power distribution from where we can get back taxes.”

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Barrister Eze Onyekpere, the lead director, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) said the country does not need new borrowings at this time.

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