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Use foreign loan to develop infrastructure – Godwin Ezeemo

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GODWIN CHUKWUNEYE EZEEMO is an entrepreneur per excellence, an industrialist, philanthropist and politician. Recently, he hosted journalists at his country home in Umuchu, Aguata LGA of Anambra State where he proffered solutions to overcome the recession, and others issues of national importance. Our reporter, FRANCIS EKPONE was there. Excerpts


As an industrialist and home-grown businessman, how do you think Nigeria can come out of this economic recession?

I agree with you that I am a village boy and that is why I am trying to make an impact where I belong. We are in a recession now and needless groaning over it. We have to face it, which means we have to do certain things to come out of it. We must go back to the farm, get what we will eat ourselves, and still make money in our work places. In England, I worked in three places at a time, I worked as a cleaner, I worked as a security person, and worked in my own business.

It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We can’t just wait and rely only on the pay we get as civil servants or what we get in our shops. People can go to farm on Saturdays when we have less things to do. When we raise money from different sources, you wouldn’t know the impact it will make. Government on its part, should as a matter of urgency, take measures to assist anyone who wants to go into food production. If we produce enough raw materials, not only can we conserve our foreign exchange but we can also produce what we need locally. But the problem is that in Nigeria, almost everything is imported while we have arable lands lying fallow and overgrown with weeds and trees. All it needs is some millions of naira to convert these lands to farm land or bring in some equipment that can assist in doing that.

 Do you think the $29.96 billion infrastructure loan that FG intends to borrow will have any effect on the citizens? 

If what the Presidency and Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Abraham Nwankwo said about the foreign loan is anything to go by, then the external borrowing programme will surely have effect on the people. But if the borrowing is not to address critical infrastructure gaps in the country and fast-track its march towards economic diversification but for selfish interest, I would rather suggest we make do with what we have.

Every Nigerian knows and CNN also confirmed that over $90 billion was recovered from a Nigerian and just last week, another Nigerian returned N200 billion to Federal Government, among other loots earlier returned and I begin to wonder why Nigeria should be thinking of borrowing that kind of money when we have its equivalent in the bank. I learnt the money is not accessible due to certain litigations but let me say this, if we have need to borrow this volume of money, we can as a bailout fund but if we cannot invest it like we have done with the billions of dollars borrowed in the past, which was mismanaged, I can tell you that there is no need for that.

It is also important for equitable distribution of our common patrimony among the geo-political zones. It is wrong for this money to be borrowed on behalf of the entire Nigerians only for it to be used in developing some regions.  If the National Assembly eventually okays this borrowing, Mr. President should consider the issue of fairness and equity in its implementation.


It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. We can’t just wait and rely only on the pay we get as civil servants or what we get in our shops.


I also wish to suggest that the Federal Government invest the money in developing critical infrastructure. I once visited a dam in Brazil in 2013. It is between Brazil and Paraguay. They own the dam collectively. They borrowed $11 billion to build the dam and it supplies their power. It is a massive project, a tourist attraction for that matter. They said they will finish paying the money by 2022 and the money is being generated from the same dam. If this is the kind of project we want to undertake, it is important but if it is collecting the money to be shared among some group of people, then there will be no need.

 Recently, Umuchu, your home town celebrated 100 years of the advent of Christianity in the town. What impact do you think it will have on Christians?

The centenary marks the first-time Christianity came into our town, Umuchu and the coming of Christianity brought a lot of progress and development and broke all false practices that held the town down in the past. Today, we are celebrating liberty and absolute freedom. Early missionaries and pioneers of Christianity suffered a great deal in propagating Christianity in the town. Some donated lands and their personal belongings for this purpose which we are enjoying today. They showed lots of commitment in propagating Christianity in Umuchu and I advise the younger generation not to relent in contributing towards making our society a better place, particularly when it relates to what affects us as individuals.



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