The Nigerian Government is set to take another $3bn loan from China according to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who is under fire for allegedly ceding some part of Nigeria’s sovereignty in exchange for Chinese loans.
Amaechi made this revelation while insisting that the National Assembly should stop probing agreements on Chinese loans after it was discovered that some clauses in one of the agreements ceded Nigerian sovereignty to China upon a loan default.
The agreement signed by the Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of Nigeria and the Chinese Exim Bank on September 5, 2018 had generated a lot of backlash from political leaders, lawmakers and the average Nigerian.
Many people decried the high rate of loans being taken by public officials on behalf of Nigeria, especially from China who are the current highest lenders to Nigeria.
Upon discovery of the clause in the agreement which said;
“The borrower hereby irrevocably provides waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration pursuit to Article 85 thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuit thereto except for the military asset and diplomatic asset,” Nigerian lawmakers insisted on investigating other loan agreements between Nigeria and China as the public accused Rotimi Amaechi of selling the country to the Chinese.
In his defence, while speaking on a live political programme on Channels Television, the Transport Minister insisted that the Chinese would refuse to grant future loans if the lawmakers continued their inquest into the loan agreements.
He said their action may scare away the lender as the Federal Government is about to apply for another $3bn loan from the Chinese to execute the rail project between Port Harcourt and Maiduguri.
Amaechi said; “The reason why I said that is because we have already applied for $5.3billion to execute the rail from Ibadan to Kano. We are about applying for about $3billion to execute the rail from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
“Don’t forget the National Assembly approved that loan. It is unconstitutional and impeachable if you take a loan without the approval of the National Assembly.”
He said it doesn’t make sense that the same National Assembly that approved the loans in the first place is now calling for a probe of the loan terms.
“If I am the lender, I will be worried. If they get worried, they will say ‘No, we will not approve the remaining loans you have applied for,” He concluded.