Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
A financial analyst and the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Chartered institute of Development and Social Studies, Mr Shae Bebeyi, has called on the Federal Government to shelve the idea of borrowing a proposed $22.7 billion, saying it will in the long run create more hardships for ordinary Nigerians.
Bebeyi, while speaking with reporters in Lokoja on Wednesday questioned the rationale of borrowing before the country can service the 2020 budget, saying rather than heal the economy the debt will cause the economy to bleed in the immediate future, thereby causing more pains for Nigerians.
According to him, the Federal Government should look inward in servicing the budget instead of going cap in hand to seek for foreign loans, adding that there has not been enough transparency in the previous loans obtained for the country.
In his words: “Nigerians need to know about the billions of naira that have been recovered from the looters since the inception of this government. We also need to know what has happened to recovered loots from Abacha and how the billions of naira generated from oil revenues have been expended.
“I think what the Federal Government should do now is to block all leakages in all the ministries, parastatals and agencies, reduce its expenditure and cut down to the barest minimum the salaries and allowances of political office holders. The way we run our democracy is too expensive, the cost must be reduced drastically,” he said.
Lauding the Federal Government for the temporary closure of Nigeria’s land borders, Bebeyi said it was the best thing to do for now as “it will grow our micro economy and will enhance a national rebirth that is capable of giving some kind of relief and succour to the common man.”
The social commentator also condemned in strong terms the recent invasion of a high court in Abuja by men of the Department of State Service, where they attempted to arrest the convener of the #RevolutionNow protests, political activist Omoyele Sowore, saying that it was an affront on democracy which must not be tolerated.
According to Bebeyi, that forceful act by the DSS has further damaged the image of Nigeria before the international community as a country which has no respect for the rule of law.
The analyst frowned at the posture of the President Muhammad Buhari administration which, he said, preaches one thing and does the opposite, wondering how a government which claims to be fighting corruption allow its judiciary to be usurped by another agency of the same government.
While saying that the act was an antitectical to democracy which must be condemned, Bebeyi stressed that these are things that could turn away potential investors from the country and urged President Buhari to do more to strengthen democracy rather than condoning illegalities.