The Federal Government has revealed that China is becoming skeptical about giving loans to Nigeria following ongoing probes by the National Assembly on loans already received from the country.
The lawmakers insisted on probing the loans following insinuation that part of the loan deal was that if Nigeria cannot pay back, China will take over Nigeria until they recover their loan.
However, the FG described the insinuation as laughable, saying that no nation could be recolonize, and certainly not Nigeria as a result of its huge debts.
Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, and Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, who spoke during a television programme in Abuja, noted that Nigeria’s sovereignty was not at risk in the loan agreement with China.
Amaechi further noted that the claim by the National Assembly and the ongoing probe had made some Chinese to think that Nigeria was probing the loan agreements in order not to repay the $2billion so far collected from China.
“You know, I specifically urged the National Assembly to please be careful about this probe on the loan agreements. It is because we are trying to make an application for the Port Harcourt Maiduguri rail.
“If nothing else is happening, you know that our brothers are already saying that we don’t want to do any rail project in the South-East.”
“Now that we are planning to say that they should give us some loan for us to construct Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, and we are about to go to cabinet for approval, you are now shouting these terms are bad, Chinese people are wicked.
“How will they give you the money? I have documents to the effect that we are getting signals that they are becoming a bit apprehensive on whether we are doing this because we don’t want to pay them back.”
“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 said.
In his own statement, AGF Malami said that there was a difference between international diplomatic immunity, which had to do with a nation’s sovereignty and commercial immunity, which had to do with a commitment to ensure repayment of loans.
He noted that the lawmakers were looking at the diplomatic immunity as against the commercial immunity of a country that had to do with loans.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.