Nigerians in the diaspora on the platform of the Global Coalition for
Security and Democracy in Nigeria have petitioned the President of the
World Bank, David Malpass, to put an end to further negotiations with
the President Muhammadu Buhari regime to borrow another $2.5 billion.
Another online petition is ongoing as the group plans to embark on a
peaceful protest march to the headquarters of the World Bank in
Washington on 15 October.
The group stated that Nigerians could no longer tolerate the action of
government officials that steal public funds and resort to borrowing
and increased taxation against the same citizens they stole from.
In a letter exclusively made available to SaharaReporters by the
Global Coordinator of the group, Frederick Odorige,15 reasons were
listed why the loan should not be approved.
"After writing off Nigeria’s $18 billion debt by the Paris Club in
2005 the Nigerian government went on a borrowing spree which has led
to a current debt of over $81 billion that was mostly mismanaged.
"Some persons that were indicted for various corruption cases have
been appointed by the current governments as Ministers. These are the
same persons that will manage the anticipated fund.
"Our federal legislators continue to earn the highest salaries in the
world insensitive to the fact that we are currently the poverty
capital of the world. The senators are also shopping for about $17
million to buy vehicles in addition to their fleet of cars," the group
It added that senators traditionally 'pad' the country's budgets for
their selfish interests.
In 2018 a court ordered President Buhari to prosecute the senators
that padded 2016 national budgets by N481 billion (about $1.5
The group, however, noted: "The President intentionally refused to
comply with the court order. The padded and stolen amount is enough to
build 10 standard hospitals in each of the 36 states of Nigeria.
"We have 34 mineral resources spread across 430 locations in Nigeria.
Many developed countries do not have this. If for many years, our
government cannot harness these resources to enhance our commonwealth,
then they should be left to their shame.
"We are very convinced that at least half of the anticipated loan will
either be stolen or used to service the unnecessary high cost of
governance. We have been ranked 144 out of 180 countries in terms of
Arguing further, the group said: "The current government of retired
General Muhammadu Buhari claimed to have bought mosquito nets for $16
million which they purportedly distributed. That money was also
borrowed. No clear accountability was done as our children continue to
die daily from malaria. For every dollar you give as further loans,
you speed the death of Nigerian children and facilitates in mortgaging
the life of our present youths.
"The United Nations has projected that Nigeria will remain the poverty
capital of the world beyond 2050. This is an attestation to the fact
that there are no clear and concrete development plans to lift our
people out of poverty. It is no longer news that our people are
escaping in droves from the country and forming the highest number of
African migrants that die on the Mediterranean Sea."
In October 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Nigeria
and sub-Saharan African economies to check the rising levels of debts
and to diversify their revenue bases or face a crisis.
Other financial institutions in Nigeria have also warned the
government against further borrowing.
"Nigeria has refused to comply as it continues to depend on the
fluctuating oil prices. Economic crises will surely be quickened if
you issue this loan.
"Sadly, our country`s debt servicing to revenue ratio is now more than
50 percent. This percentage will increase as you continue to grant
loans and it will be practically impossible to ensure development.
"Since most of our resources are stolen by those in government, the
burden of taxation are always be passed to the general public. For
example, VAT has just been increased from 5 to 7.2%, including the
introduction of other bank service charges," it pointed out.
Future governments, the group stated, might find it difficult to pay
back what the World Bank intended to lend Nigeria unless the bank was
prepared to write off the loans in the future.
It also cited insecurity in various parts of the country and the
inability of the government to provide stable electricity which has
further compounded the challenges of production as a reason the loan
should not be given.
"This will be worsened as the unemployment rate will jump to 33.5% in
the year 2020," the group claimed.
"Many states in Nigeria are currently struggling to pay salaries and
the minimum wage which is barely $84 monthly. This is as a result of
the fact that former State governors stole so much money and left
their various states in huge debts. For example, Kogi State of Nigeria
currently owes 39 months salary arrears to its 7000 teachers. The
story is almost the same in some other states.
"There are various lawful revolution protests going on in and outside
Nigeria as our citizens have risen from complacence to challenge the
incompetencies of government. Such protests have led to the use of
violent force by security agencies who have detained, shot and killed
unarmed protesters against the rule of law. For any money you lend to
the Nigerian government, you are unwittingly investing in the blood of