Says Southeast Didn’t Benefit From Endless Loans
The Civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday, slammed the Presidency over comments that Chinese loans have helped the country build its infrastructure.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said the South East has been excluded from the so-called projects that the Federal Government used the humongous loans from China on.
The group flayed the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari for splurging the irrational Chinese loans on irrational projects with no tangible economic returns, including the Kano-Maradi railway construction to the Niger Republic and many other projects in his hometown – Daura in Katsina State and other areas in the north.
Recall that the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina on Friday told Ambassador Cui Jianchun and the new Deputy Chief of Mission/Ministerial Councilor, Zhang Yi that Chinese loans have been very beneficial to Nigeria’s infrastructural development.
Onwubiko said in the last seven years, the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has embarked on a borrowing spree with Nigeria’s debt to China increasing from $3.26b as of September 30, 2020, to $3.59b as of September 30, 2021, saying the figure has moved incrementally in the last one year.
Reacting to comments made by Adesina, Onwubiko said, “The claim by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina that Chinese loans have contributed greatly to Nigeria’s infrastructure is substantially false. These Chinese loans must have been pocketed by top government officials because there is no evidence of any satisfactorily executed national strategic infrastructures by President Muhammadu Buhari in the last seven years.
“Take, for example, the South East geopolitical zone whereby the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway is a total shamble, the Onitsha to Owerri highway is also in a bad state. All major highways linking South East and South South are in a bad state.
“Whereas, the Buhari regime has lavished the Chinese loans on profitless investments in northern Nigeria and Buhari’s relations in the Niger Republic. In fact, insecurity in the President’s backyard in the Northwest has overrun the Kaduna-Abuja train services. Terrorism has even forced the Nigerian Railway Corporation to cancel all train movements.
“Just like his lopsided appointments with northerners as heads of security agencies, Buhari’s nepotism spread like a tentacle to the distribution of projects across the six zones in Nigeria with the South-East being the most marginalised.
“Nigerians have all major reasons to vote out Buhari’s APC in next year’s election. Inclusion must be a watchword in the next crop of leaders to be elected at the polls in 2023. No narrow-minded candidate with parochial and tribal prejudice should make it to Aso Villa. All Nigerians should enjoy the dividends of democratic governance without being judged by their ethnic affiliation or religious affinity.”
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