GOVERNOR Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Governors’ Forum, has described the federal government’s plan to secure Eurobond which re-payment would last till 2032, as act like that of the Biblical prodigal son, expressing the fear that the loan may plunge the nation into pro-longed economic misery.
The governor, who challenged the federal to government make clarification as to the beneficiaries of the bond, stating whether it would be both the federal government and the federating units or federal government alone, said: “questions must also be asked on repayment of the Eurobond because deductions from what should accrue to the federation account on a bond to be taken by the federal government for its own use only.”
In a statement issued on Friday, February 10, by Idowu Adelusi, his chief press secretary, Idowu Adelusi, the governor said: “What I’m even worried about and which they must explain to us is that you cannot get a bond without committing it to the source.
“Is the repayment going to be made by direct deductions from Nigeria’s crude oil sales or from federal government share from the federation account?
“If it is going to be made directly from proceeds of crude oil accruing to Nigeria as a country, then the bond belongs to the federal, state and local governments and not federal government alone.
“The federal government is just one of the federating units making up Nigeria and revenue accruing to the country cannot be used to repay bond taken by the federal government for its own use alone.
“The federal government must therefore tell Nigerians how it intends to repay the facility from now till 2032. If it is going to be through direct deductions from revenue accruing to Nigeria, such that money would be taken from source which would not be part of the accruers to the central body, it means the $1 billion bond belongs to Nigerians and it must be shared among the federating units.
“So, we have to find out and take steps. It is either they bring the money and we share it; we take our percentage and they take theirs. The federal government cannot take that money and take it from source and tell us that the money, which belongs to all of us federating units, is its.”
Speaking further, Fayose said: “Fiscal federalism is not manifesting in the agenda of this government. The way they are running the affairs of this country is shrouded in secrecy. We will definitely go to Court and ask questions.”
Expressing the fear that the $1 billion Eurobond might plunge the nation into more serious economic woes as its repayment was scheduled to last till 2032. Fayose said: “the APC government is behaving like the prodigal son who asked for his inheritance and spend it lavishly. “It is a prodigal government who wants to destroy this country. The rate at which they are taking loans which would keep this country indebted till 2032 is quite unfortunate.
“Currently our currency has been badly devalued to N500 to a Dollar. So, how do we pay back the Dollar? They went to tie the money to the source; the accruers outside the country where crude oil revenue goes.
“Apparently, they don’t care what happens tomorrow. They said they want to use the money to fund 2016, 2017, 2018 budgets which means after they are gone, the country can go into blazes and our children’s children can wallop in indebtedness. How can you appreciate that?
“This rate of borrowing would lead this country into serious challenge At this same time, they are saying we should save for the raining day. I just want our people to know that the APC government is taking us to another side of life, one is to destroy our economy, the other is death.”
— Feb 20, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT