Buhari should forget about $29.9bn loan, go after looted funds – Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said the $29.9bn loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari will mortgage the future of Nigeria.

Falana spoke at a symposium tagged: “X-raying 50 years of military intervention in Nigeria’s politics”, organised by the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos.

Falana urged the President to forget about the loan and begin aggressive recovery of the country’s looted funds stashed away in foreign countries.

He said, “Between 1978 and 1986, this country incurred debts to the extent that we did not know how much we owed under the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. They had to engage the services of a consultant in the West to tell us what we owed, and of course, the London Paris Club gave us a figure. That was the extent to which governance deteriorated.

“By the time [former President Olusegun] Obasanjo was paying the debts, in one fell swoop in 2005, this country parted with $12.4bn for the West to forgive our debts. Meanwhile, they were the real sinners. At that time, on both the principal and the interest, we had paid $42bn. That amount alone could have eradicated poverty in the entire Africa.

“Now again, President Buhari wants to get a loan of $30bn. You know what that means? For generations unborn, we will mortgage their future, except the money is genuinely meant for infrastructural development, which is usually not the case once the money comes in. So Buhari should forget about the $30bn loan when he can get more than that if he goes after our stolen money in the West.”

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