Our reasons for taking this position is as follows.
- After writing off our $18 billion debt by the Paris Club in 2005, unfortunately, our government went back to a borrowing spree with little or nothing to show for what was borrowed. We are currently indebted to the tune of over $81 billion and it clearly as a result of mismanagement and corruption.
- 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 that 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. There is no will or plan to reduce their outrageous earning. Meanwhile, our government is borrowing to finance her 2019 national budget. As at the time of writing to you, the same legislators who receive ward robe and furniture allowances are shopping for about $17 million to buy vehicles in addition to their fleet of cars. Most of these Senators desperately rigged elections into office.
- The Senators traditionally pad our budgets for their selfish interests. In 2016 the court ordered the President to prosecute the Senators that padded our national budgets by Four Hundred and Eighty-One billion naira which is around $1.5 billion. The President intentionally refused to respect court order. For your verification, I attach herewith, the various links where major Nigerian Newspapers published this story. (premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/270173-budget-padding-court-mandates-buhari-to-order-prosecution-of-indicted-lawmakers.html, https://www.channelstv.com/tag/budget-padding/, https://thenationonlineng.net/court-orders-buhari-to-probe-n481b-budget-padding-claim/ ) That 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 our government cannot harness these resources to enhance our commonwealth, then they should be left to their shame.
- The current government of Nigeria borrow blindly thereby mortgaging the lives of future generations. We are very convinced that at least half of that amount will either be stolen or used to service the unnecessary high cost of governance. Little wonder we have been ranked 144 out of 180 countries in terms of transparency.
- The current government of retired General Muhammadu Buhari claimed to have bought mosquito nets for $16 million which they purportedly distributed. No clear accountability was done as our children continue to die daily from malaria. If you must assist Nigerians in fighting the legacy of corruption, the best way is to stop further loans to our country. 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 General Assembly 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.
- Please recall that 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 crisis. Nigeria is yet to do so 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 per cent. This percentage will increase as you continue to grant loans and it will be practically impossible to develop as the funds are not used for infrastructural development that could generate income or improve welfare.
- Since most of our resources are stolen by those in government, the burden of taxation will 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.
- Future governments may find it difficult to pay back whatever you intend to lend unless you are equally prepared, at your own risk, to write off these loans in the future.
- Insecurity in various parts of the country and the inability of government to provide stable electricity has further compounded the challenges of production. This will be worsened as unemployment rate will jump to 33.5% in year 2020.
- Many states in Nigeria are currently struggling to pay salaries and the minimum wage which is barely $84. 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, it may surprise you to know that, among others, Kogi State of Nigeria is currently owing 39 months salary arrears to its 7000 teachers. The story is almost the same in some other states.
- You may be aware that currently, 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 our people.
Please be informed that we have also done an online version of this petition to you, signed by other Nigerians.
Though the original copy of this letter has been posted to you, another copy will be physically handed over to you by members of our Chapter resident in the United States of America as they embark on a peaceful protest march to the headquarter of the World Bank on 15 October 2019.
He that goes borrowing goes sorrowing.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Frederick Omoyoma Odorige
Global Coordinator, Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria
A project under the Nelson M46664 human rights organization, Hungary.