President Goodluck Jonathan has sent separate letters to Nigeria's Senate and House of Representatives requesting approval to borrow $7.9bn (about N1.89tn), from the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and Indian lines of credit, for the funding of pipeline projects in the country. The loans are to be used to cover pipeline projects captured in the 2012 to 2014 External Borrowing Plan.
In a letter read by the Senate President, David Mark, President Goodluck Jonathan said, √ĘÄúThe pipeline projects are at various stages of finalisation. Therefore, I present herewith a total external pipeline borrowing in the amount of $7,905,690,000 or $2.64bn a year, being the cumulative facilities offered by the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and Indian lines of credit,√ĘÄĚ
√ĘÄúIn that regard, a number of projects have been designed to create employment opportunities with a view to growing the economy. We also urge the National Assembly to note that the objectives of the projects conform to the transformation agenda of our administration and cut across various sectors of the economy. The initiatives are meant to put the economy on track through growth and employment.√ĘÄĚ
President Jonathan also informed the National Assembly the initiatives are geared to the implementation of the transformation agenda of his government and are designed to drive growth and employment and put the economy back on track.
If the National Assembly approves the requests for the loans, Nigeria's foreign debt will increase to $11.5bn. The Federal Government currently owes $3.5bn ($2.9bn from multilateral loans and $597.65m from other commercial sources).
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Jhoncarl , April 16, 2012
Maybe you should have read the post as it in fact noted the problems that speaking to the foreign press before addressing Nigerians could create for Jonathan. Consequently, I think it might be unfair to suggest that there was no reaction on that point. But going further, equating this interview with Yar'Adua's BBC interview (not sure which of the 2 main ones you are referring to) would be wrong.
On the 2 occasions that Yar'Adua gave an interview to the BBC they were done during key moments in the history and stability of the nation. The first was given when he was running for President and was rushed to Germany in 2007. We all know how tense election time is in Nigeria and can recall how dire things seemed when it was widely reported that he was dead. He then miraculously popped up to give an audio interview to the BBC's Hausa Service which broadcasts in Hausa and thus serves only a part of the Nigerian audience, in addition to being a foreign media outlet.
His second audio 'sighting' was when again, Nigerians were worried about the state of the nation's politics due to a sick President whose absence created a dangerous political vacuum and climate. Instead of speaking to the people via the many means afforded a President, be it audio or visual, this President again opted to speak to a segment of Nigerians via a foreign media outlet.
Compare that to Jonathan who was abroad, in Washington DC and allowed a foreign journalist to come and interview him during a period that is not as tense as those that preceded Yar'Adua's BBC interviews, the second of which was alleged to be a sham by a widely read and respected online publication.
The only similarities between Jonathan and Yar'Adua on this matter are that they gave relevant information to the foreign press instead of discussing important matters with their constituents. But if one was to look further and take context into account, I find it hard to not see Yar'Adua's actions as a slap in the face to Nigerians that should not be tolerated. Couple with that the fact that Yar'Adua met with religious leaders but not political leaders and particularly those who have been 'elected' into office.
The disrespect is rife and thus far, Jonathan's actions are yet to amount to such egregiousness. But if they ever do, I will be sure to call him out on it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope all is well with you and yours.
OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA February 15, 2012
Thief! Yoruba call it "Ole". Ibo call it "Onyeoshi". Hausa call it "Barawo". Jonathan is a thief. He wants to return Nigeria to another era of profligacy like we had from Mr. Shehu Shagari's time. If Mr. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti were alive, he would sign another V.I.P (Vagabond In Power) for Jonathan. Why?
(1) In his speech at the PDP presidential election primary, Mr. Atiku Abubarka accused Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of drawing down the external reserves from $20bn to $3bn within eight months of his reign as president of Nigeria. No one has refuted it.
(2) When the 2011 budget was presented, projected revenue stood at about N3.2trn but projected expenditure was over N1.1trn. How can one live above his means without being a thief?
(3) Budget 2012 is a copycat of budget 2011. Total revenue trails totat expenditure. House Committee suddenly discovers that over N1.0trn have been wrongly inserted. The false "Expert" in the Ministry of Finance and government's Economic Team manager was drunk and asleep while budget 2012 was compiled and presented. The cover up is a request to borrow $7.906trn.
(4) Our current external dept is $5.6bn and serviced with N0.51bn. When $7.9bn debt is added, we shall owe $13.4bn. Proportionately, we shall service with N1.22trn or 38.14% of our total revenue at current earnings. This is outrageous! This calamity coming. This may be the end of Nigeria at sight. Whosoever consents to the passage of the request is Nigeria's and Nigerians enemy No. 1.
(5) If Mr. Jonathan does not know how better to lead Nigeria, he should resign. Fire explosion at Koluama on January 16, 2012, Bayelsa State is a month old today. No visitation, no letter, no speech from Mr. Jonathan. What if the fire occured at Akure, Ondo State rather than his backyard? Did Mr. Jonathan not resemble Mr. Shagari who left for India for Phd award while Nigerian External Communications (NET) building was on fire?