By Hugo Odiogor
Delta North Senatorial aspirant, Mr. Ned Nwoko, has faulted the Senate for granting the president approval to take external loan to the tune of $1.6 billion, “ given the past history of profligacy and scam inherent in such transactions.”
The former member of Federal House of Representatives, whose firm, Prince Ned Nwoko Associates, carried out private investigations into the previous foreign debt from 1960 to 2006, said, “the present history of profligacy in public expenditure and the record of scam in the management of the previous debt are enough evidence of the counter productive nature of going into another round of foreign loan so soon after we made an inglorious escape in 2006.
“At the present, we are still reconciling the issues of over deductions that were made on states and local government areas, we were able to discover that some states were made to pay for non-existent loans. It is also a pathetic case that we never had a data bank of our past indebtedness and after that painful and shameful exit four years ago, we are back to the inglorious path again.”
According to the Senatorial aspirant, “the burden of the former loan was a burden to socio-economic growth and a blight on our sovereignty as a country but above all, the fact that the country and some state governments were made to pay for non existent foreign loans were too painful pills to swallow
In a statement made available to Vanguard in Lagos, Prince Nwoko said” incurring external debt to finance such intangible and unverifiable items such as provision of “technical assistance” , “transaction advisory services” and “capacity building for I4 critical ministries, Departments and Agencies is an act of bad faith by men and women who were elected to defend probity and accountability”.
He said “if we are to spend $115 billion on technical assistance and another $32 billion on “transaction advisory services, to be financed by external loans, Nigerians deserves to know details of the content, component and repayment procedure for the loans, Nigerians deserves to know the expected benefits of such loan.”
The former law maker said “after drawing down on the hefty external reserve of over $48 billion and squandering the Excess Crude Account, the Federal and state governments have embarked yet another process to mortgage the welfare and comfort of the future generation by entering into frivolous loan transactions, even at the time the country is making sale of its crude oil”
He said “Nigerians will not get the expected dividends of democracy unless they vote for men and women with courage to stand for the truth and speak out against bad governance”