The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to change the name of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to “Ministry of Foreign Loans Collection.”
HURIWA made the call while lamenting the continuous loan applications by the ministry.
The frontline rights group, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko said: “Vexed by the unrelenting applications by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Budget for foreign loans since the assumption of office of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in 2015, a call has gone to the President to rename the ministry of finance and Budget to Ministry for foreign loans collection.
“We honestly think that the President should table before his weak Federal Executive Council the proposal for a change of name of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National planning to the Federal Ministry for Foreign Loans and Debts accumulation.
“This is because Nigerians have come to see that the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed does nothing else than inundating Nigerians with the bad news of the constant requests from all kinds of places around the world for external loans which are actually not been utilised to grow the economy or advance the living conditions of Nigerians but these huge loans are used to service the ballooning costs of running government and paying juicy allowances to Federal government officials”.
HURIWA also dismissed as puerile and distasteful, the opinion credited to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan for saying that Nigeria will continue to apply for foreign loans because the nation is poor.
The Rights group said it “made no sense to accept such a fallacy from the Senate President because in the first place, Nigeria is not poor but resource rich but has poor and corruption infested political leadership and importantly, poor nations without resources aren’t given or granted loans by creditors unless such debtors have collateral by way of resources that the creditors like China can fall back on if Nigeria fails to meet her repayment conditionality.”
HURIWA said: “If Nigeria was such a poor country, creditors like IMF, World Bank, China, Paris Club and London Club won’t be falling on each other to extend loans and credit facilities to a poor nation which is why China for instance has a proviso for sovereign guarantee before awarding those frivolous loans because China is aware of the resource rich nature of Nigeria.”
The right group frowned against the backdrops of the latest approval by the National Assembly of a further $6.18 billion foreign loan by Buhari, stressing that the essence of setting up a ministry of finance is to fashion out and effectively implement sustainable and viable financial mechanisms for aggressively boosting the economy of Nigeria and Nigerians and for promotion of the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance through good policies.
HURIWA also lamented that whereas most nations of the world are concentrating her economic and national planning efforts towards boosting the productivity of the citizens and Gross Domestic Products of their countries through industralisation and the administration and maintenance of public works and social infrastructures to create enabling environment for private sector businesses to thrive and drive economic growth, the federal and state governments in Nigeria are in the bonanza of collecting foreign credit facilities and loans so as to finance the ostentatious political lifestyles of the politicians in the corridors of power.