Nigeria

Sovereignty clause: National Assembly shouldn’t have approved Chinese loans – Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi has again questioned the National Assembly’s position on the country’s loan agreements with China.

Amaechi dispelled the notion that Nigeria’s sovereignty has been signed off to China in the process of obtaining the loans.

He wondered why the National Assembly went ahead to approve the loans knowing it was signing off the country’s sovereignty.

A statement by his media office said that the Minister spoke on a TV programme on Tuesday.

It quoted him saying, the National Assembly says “we have signed out the sovereignty of our country, so why did they approve? Didn’t they see it before approving?”

Amaechi, who appeared on the programme alongside Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said, “Nobody has signed out anything.”

“A sovereign nation is a sovereign nation, nobody can recolonise us. We must learn to pay our debts and we are paying, and once you are paying, nobody will come and take any of your assets,” Amaechi insisted.

The Minister said it was even wrong to blame the previous administration for the loan or clause in the agreement, adding that it is a standard clause.

“We will not blame President Goodluck Jonathan’s government for taking the loan, because like I said, it is a standard clause in every loan agreement,” he said.

The Minister had last week said that Nigeria had to resort to approaching China for loans for three basic reasons namely the low interest rate, the payback period and moratorium.

Amaechi stressed that the Chinese loans were better when compared to the terms of loans given by Western countries.

The former Rivers State Governor spoke during an interview in AIT, adding that stopping the loans would mean an end to the infrastructural projects.

When asked about the assets being pledged as collateral for the loans being collected, the minister said, “The same assets the funds are being used to finance.”

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