Nigerians question Buhari’s $30bn loan plan
Nigerians have continued to raise questions concerning the plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to borrow $30 billion to stimulate Nigeria’s economy. Recall that President Buhari late last week sought the approval of the 9th Senate to borrow the sum of $30 billion for ‘Economic Stimulus Infrastructure Fund’. According to reports, Buhari informed the Senate that the borrowed fund will be used to fund 39 emergency projects in the power, agriculture, transport and mining sectors of the Nigerian economy. However, the move by Buhari has continued to elicit reactions from Nigerians. Speaking to Orient Daily in Asaba, Dr Richard Ajigbuo of the Department of History and International Studies, Delta State University, described it as unfortunate, stressing that despite the fact that the 8th Senate refused to approve the loan plan, the same plan has been presented before the 9th Senate by President Buhari.
Also speaking to our reporter, Dr Chukwuemeka Ojih of the same school and department wondered why Nigeria needed to borrow after it had been reported that billions of looted dollars had been recovered. Dr Jaja Nwanegbo of the Department of Political Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, also questioned the rationale behind the purported external borrowings when the country was yet to recover from debts. He further urged the 9th Senate to refuse approval of the loan plan in the interest of Nigeria’s generations to come. A new generation banker who spoke to our reporter in confidence also stated that President Buhari had been ill-advised on his loan plan as that cannot stimulate the economy the way he or whoever advised him thinks. He advised the president to look at other options such as cutting down on the cost of governance. The 9th Senate is yet to respond to President Buhari’s request and it will be interesting, considering the numerous reactions that have trailed it, to see how all these play out.