November 28, 2016

$30bn: Debtors don’t need new loans; Shelve it, Aremu urges Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Comrade Issa Aremu, the Vice Chairman, Industrial Global Union has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw his request for 30 billion dollars loan presented to the National Assembly, stressing that “debtors don’t need new loans.”

Aremu, who made the call in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin, advised the president to shelve the idea to save the country from another debt burden.

Buhari on Nov. 1, requested the loan to execute key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.

The Senate threw out the request because it was not accompanied with a borrowing plan.

The former national vice chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said that the Nigerian leader should exhibit self-reliance in his development paradigm for the country.

He urged him and other African leaders to emulate the virtues of late Fidel Castro of Cuba in entrenching self-reliance in governance.

He said the president needed to emulate his selflessness and self-reliance style of leadership.

Aremu said that these qualities were also acknowledged by Buhari in his condolence message to the people and government of Cuban Republic.

He said that Buhari must heed Castro’s advice on the danger of indiscriminate loans and credits.

“Fidel Castro had long promoted his ideas of self reliance.

“Castro had described the debt burden as torment in Greek mythology in which a man is doomed to push a large stone uphill for eternity, a stone that always rolls down, ’’ he said.

Aremu stressed that “debtor don’t need new loans, Fidel has since been proven right that most debts are unpayable and uncollectible.’’

The labour leader condemned trending passage of outrageous pensions for governors in the country, saying the development was not sustainable and was causing underdevelopment in the states.

He made reference to the recent passage in Edo on the pensions for retired governors and top officials in the state, and urged the former Gov. Adam Oshiomole to desist from joining the bandwagons.

“Following the trend in other states, the Edo Assembly recently approved a pension benefit for a residential building worth N200million for the immediate past governor, while N100 million was approved for his deputy, among other benefits.

“We appeal to former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to make a positive difference by not collecting the life pension benefit as approved by the State Assembly.

“Edo’s governance report since 2008 points to Nigeria’s renewed optimism. Indeed we have witnessed a renaissance which defeats the old pessimism that nothing can work.

“Edo state within a short time became one huge reconstruction site in governance, Many things went on simultaneously; from massive rural and urban reconstructions to public schools reinventions.

“Others included innovating of sporting facilities, new public transportation, maternal and child care to mass public employment in record time, from multiple assaults on insecurity to mass beautification of the ancient city of Benin,’’ he said.

Aremu added that the previous regime also executed massive water projects, job creation, prompt payment of salaries, including 25per cent increase in minimum wage above the statutory N18, 000.

He urged Nigerians to resist bad governance, saying that while they were beaming their torch on the Federal Government, worse things were happening at the states-level.

According to him, the passage of pension law for former governors in the country is not based on need, “but greediness of the leaders’’.

He however commended the incorruptible style of the Buhari’s administration.