The House of Representatives on Sunday said it would review all loan agreements and conditions signed by the Federal Government.
The Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Aid, Loans and Debt Management, Mr Chris Azubogu, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, just as the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria supported the investigation by the lawmakers into Chinese loans.
The House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements had on Tuesday last week begun an investigation into the loans taken by the country.
The committee raised the alarm over loan agreements Nigeria signed with China. The lawmakers said the agreement might force Nigeria to concede its sovereignty to the Asian country if the loans were not paid back.
But the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who appeared before the committee, asked the lawmakers to stop the investigation into the Chinese loans.
He said the probe would send a wrong signal to China, which could stop the loans, thereby thwarting the nation’s rail projects.
The Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Aid, Loans and Debt Management, Mr Chris Azubogu, in the interview with The PUNCH, said, “The House generally is concerned. We are reviewing all the terms and conditions to know what they are like. The House is reviewing all loans and agreements.”
Also, a member of the Treaties, Protocols and Agreements, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that the lawmakers would not back down on the probe.
The lawmaker asked, “Do you agree that more money (loans) should be taken when the former (previous) ones that had been taken have not been accounted for? You want transparency and you are taking loans, and we are saying ‘give us transparency.’
“If you are taking a loan for a particular project, can the project pay back the loan? We are in a capitalist economy and in that economy, we should be able to know that if we invest the money, the project should be able to pay back the loan invested. That is what informed the loans we are looking at.
“Then, what are the stringent conditions attached to the loans? If we are not able to pay back the loans, what will be the consequences? These are key legal issues. We are looking at the entire template holistically. If you are taking loans, did you abide by the Nigerian content laws which say that our instruments should be considered first before considering importation?”
APC’s Loss in Edo is Still a Mystery to Me – El-Rufai
Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has said that he was optimistic up to three weeks ago that his party, the All Progressives Congress, would win the Edo State governorship election.
El-Rufai on Monday expressed shock at the election result because, according to him, opinion polls before the election indicated a win for the APC and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The governor, who spoke on Monday morning while featuring on Channels Television, said the election was “reasonably decent”.
He said, “We (APC) would have loved to win and quite frankly, I was optimistic up to three weeks ago; the polls indicated that we were going to win. I don’t know what happened in the last three weeks of the campaign.
“As you know, a large number of voters make up their minds in the last two weeks of the election. Many voters decide no matter what happens, this is how I am voting but most people want to wait and make up their minds in the last two weeks.
“Three weeks ago, the polls clearly showed that APC was going to win but the result came out differently from what we expected. Obaseki has won, that’s it. You can’t go into an election without the possibility of losing.
“The election was reasonably decent. We were all worried about violence but there was very little violence or none at all.”
Edo 2020: There’s No More APC, Okorocha Laments
A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Sunday congratulated the people of Edo State for fighting against alleged injustice in the just-concluded election won by Governor Godwin Obaseki on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Okorocha, a founding member of the All Progressives Congress, who represents Imo West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, described the loss suffered by the party as a “revolution of the masses against injustice”.
He added that respect for the President Muhamamadu Buhari was all the party had left.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, ahead of his 58th birthday on Tuesday, Okorocha noted that “there is no more APC, what we have is the respect for President Muhammadu Buhari”.
During the event, Okorocha’s in-law and 2019 former governorship candidate in Imo State, Uche Nwosu, blamed the former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, for the party’s defeat, saying “all he did was to try to muzzle people to accept a candidate they never wanted”.
“This is not what APC was built on, we expect things to be done the right way but the former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, believes that anything can come from anywhere without going through the due process,” he said.
Jubilant Edo Residents, Melaye Mock Oshiomhole As Obaseki Wins
Jubilant residents of Benin City on Sunday trooped out to celebrate the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party over the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the Saturday poll.
Some of the residents mocked a former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, who was the major promoter of Ize-Iyamu.
This was as a former member of the National Assembly from Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, also mocked Oshiomhole and the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Obaseki polled a total number of 307,955 votes to emerge winner of the poll while Ize-Iyamu scored 223,619 votes.
Obaseki had contested on the platform of the APC in 2016 governorship election against Ize-Iyamu who was then the candidate of the PDP and Obaseki won.
However, Obaseki and Oshiomhole, who is also a former National Chairman of the APC, fell apart and the crisis cost Obaseki the APC governorship ticket. Ize-Iyamu, who had defected to the APC ahead of the APC governorship primary election, was given the ticket.
While celebrating Obaseki’s victory on Sunday, Melaye said Oshiomhole had been reduced.
“Fellow countrymen and women, I salute you once again. I am reaching you directly from Edo. What we used to have as Osho Baba has now been reduced, downgraded and degraded to Osho pikin. Nobody should call Osho Baba again, never! The only thing you now have is Osho pikin…..
“How can you expect that a man with the umbrella will not win during the rainy season? Definitely, the PDP won. APC, how market? Oshiomhole, how market?” Melaye said before bursting into a song to mock Oshiomhole and Tinubu, who had released a video ahead of the election, urging the people of Edo to reject Obaseki.
“The dollars brought in a bullion van to Edo have gone down the drain,” Melaye added.
Also, some of Obaseki’s supporters said Oshiomhole should relocate to Lagos to join Tinubu to help him cope with the shame of the defeat.
Obaseki’s supporters called Oshiomhole many unprintable names, saying he became too arrogant after the people of Edo State compensated him to win the 2007 governorship in the state.
While dancing and singing, some of the youths said, “He (Oshiomhole) should relocate to be living with his godfather in Lagos.”
A driver, who identified himself as Lucky Godwin, said, “Edo no be Lagos; we told Oshio and his father that they will be humiliated and that has happened.”
A Lady among the supporters, who identified herself simply as Rose, said “This victory is sweet; e dey pepper Oshioo.”