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Sunday, December 10, 2023

CNPP Raises Alarm: “We Suspect Senate is Colluding With Some Cabals in Executive to Siphon Nigeria’s Commonwealth Through External Borrowings”



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…Calls for Investigation

Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has said it reasonably suspects that some cabals in the federation government are colluding with some Senators in the National Assembly to siphon the country’s commonwealth through unbridled external borrowings under the guise of financing infrastructural projects in the country.

The CNPP raised the alarm in its reaction to the Senate’s approval of fresh $16 billion and €1 billion external borrowings as well as a grant component of $125 million for President Muhammadu Buhari administration on Wednesday.

While calling for open investigation into what it described as “countless foreign loans approvals by the current National Assembly”, in a statement signed by the CNPP Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the umbrella body of all registered political parties and political associations in the country insisted that “some members of the cabals in the President Buhari government may be using the name of the President to siphon the country’s commonwealth in collaboration with some contractors without the knowledge of President Buhari.”

The CNPP which recalled that in September 2020, President Buhari had requested the facilities in an addition to the ‘2018 – 2020 borrowing plan’ with the National Assembly, in July, approving $8.3 billion and €490 million initial loan requests, queried, “with the plans to borrow, what is Nigeria’s plan to be debt-free?”

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The CNPP then challenged both the National Assembly and the Federal Government “to itemise the so-called projects which the approved loans were meant to finance.”

According to the CNPP, “They should also be bold enough to list the projects in national dailies and via online publications, including the location of the projects, date they were awarded, the initial completion date, and any contract variation since the projects were awarded.

“Nigerians should also know the percentage of completion for each of the projects and the speed of work by the contractors on the sites.

“This has become more imperative as we reasonably suspect that some members of the National Assembly, especially the principal officers, are colluding with some members of the much discussed cabals in the executive, who may have influenced their emergence as principal officers and ‘juicy committee’ Chairmen, to fleece the country of her scarce resources using slow project executions tactics where projects are indeed ongoing.

“We have been travelling round the country and we are yet to find the so-called ongoing projects which Senator Clifford Ordia had claimed, in his committee’s report, will stimulate rebirth of commercial and engineering activities and consequent tax revenues payable to Government.

“It is time for the Senate and the executive to come out clean on endless external borrowings. Where are the projects?

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“Are the said projects commensurate with the amount already borrowed? Or we merely accumulating debts to punish generations unborn using nonexistent products as guises?

“For instance, very close to Mr. President is the ongoing construction of less than ten kilometre road from Asokoro/Kugbo axis of the Abuja Keffi Expressway to the police check point at the FCT – Nasarawa State boundary, which has been under construction for five years without any reasonable work done.

“Despite that the economic importance of the Abuja – Keffi Expressway, with connects states like Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, not to mention other states in the north and south east, the small portion has remained uncompleted since the president Muhammadu Buhari administration. This is just one example of so many dilapidated federal roads in most parts of the country.

“Are members of the National Assembly and the Executive using ‘preferred contractors’ to siphon the country’s commonwealth through endless contract variations?

“There is the urgent need for open investigation of the real motive behind the country’s continued borrowing in the the face of obvious economic collapse, where nearly 98 percent of the country’s annual revenue is spent on debt servicing alone”, the CNPP lamented.

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