Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Buhari demands conditions for debt relief• Obasanjo says top Nigerians under probe for money laundering

Posted by By Lucky Nwankwere – Abuja on 2005/07/14 | Views: 326 |

Buhari demands conditions for debt relief• Obasanjo says top Nigerians under probe for money laundering


Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in 2003 election, General Mohammadu Buhari has asked the Federal Government to explain the condition under which debt relief was granted to Nigeria, fearing that devaluation of the naira may be part of it.

Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in 2003 election, General Mohammadu Buhari has asked the Federal Government to explain the condition under which debt relief was granted to Nigeria, fearing that devaluation of the naira may be part of it.

This is coming at a time President Olusegun says that before granting Nigeria debt relief, the international development agencies had called his government’s attention to the fact that a number of highly placed Nigerians are still engaged in money laundering.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Daura, Katsina State, Buhari said Nigerians would be ``very much interested to know under what conditions the relief was arrived at''.
He said the Federal Government might have got the relief from Paris Club under circumstances, conditions and terms that might not be favourable to the common man.
He maintained that debt relief of such magnitude could not have come ``so easily and cheaply'', saying that without the explanations Nigerians would be suspicious.

Buhari said possible conditions for such relief could include the devaluation of the naira and massive retrenchment, among others. He, therefore advised the Federal Government not to be accept such conditions.

But speaking in Abuja when he received the governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who led a delegation of eminent citizens of his state on a courtesy visit to Aso Rock over the debt relief the country secured from the Paris Club recently, President Obasanjo said the relief did not come easy to the country. He pointed out that the Federal Government was investigating the allegation of money laundering and would act appropriately on it and other similar issues.

“We must realise that this debt relief did not at all come easy…They had shown me some of our highly placed people who are still misbehaving by siphoning money out of the country. Of course, as we get more information, we will react to it and other reports,” he stated.

The president said Nigeria’s creditors were no fools and so could not have made such concessions without investigating the country to convince themselves that their actions were not misdirected in any way.

“It is a thing we all here have to feel proud that we are able to achieve at this time, but those who are granting us debt relief are no fools. They know us and what we are doing and they are convinced that what we are doing is right and we should do more”, Obasanjo explained.
He hinted that he would soon convene a meeting of the National Council of States (NCS) where he would negotiate with the governors on how to use excess crude oil earnings to pay off the balance of our external debt.

“I absolutely agree that when we have worked out the details we should meet at the National Council of States’ level. We have been consulting everybody to ensure we take the right decision. Of course, we will have to put heads together on how to pay so that we can be free,” he further pointed out.
The president gave assurance that savings from the relief would be channelled into welfare programmes for the masses under the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).
“We are going into the human angle of NEEDS, like in food supply, health, electricity and so on. We are indeed challenged to do what is right for the people and for Nigeria”, he said.

He urged the Kwara State government to do same for its people as it would be saving about N150 million usually deducted from its Federation Account allocation every month. He also commended the governor for developing the state through agriculture and asked him to continue in that path.
Governor Saraki had, in his speech, informed the president that he subscribed to the idea of using excess crude oil revenue to pay off the balance of the debt to free the country once and for all.

He appealed to the president to consider classifying Kwara State as a Highly Indebted Poor State (HIPS) with its debt profile of about $350 million, appealing for a review of the allocation from the Federal Account to the state.

The governor described the debt cancellation as not just a historic victory for the nation but also a personal victory for the president, adding that this generation of Nigerians and coming ones would be grateful that their future would no longer be bogged down by debt with the creditors calling the shot.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (3)

Gravatar
New
Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Gravatar
New
Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.