Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has debunked reports that President Muhammadu Buhari’s week-long trip to China was to negotiate loan deal for the country, saying that the issue did not loom large during his meeting with the Chinese leadership.
There had been reports that Nigeria would borrow at least $2 billion from China to finance deficits in the 2016 budget.
Reuters had reported that Adesina confirmed that loan agreement would be signed but could not say how much until it was signed
But Adesina, who spoke when he appeared as a guest on O&M Sunday Show on AIT, said there was no iota of truth in the report, adding that instead, the trip ended up attracting investment worth $6 billion to the country.
“The issue of loan didn’t arise during the president’s trip to China, not even an emergency loan was discussed,” he said.
“The president went there and signed agreements that were in the interest of Nigeria. We should know that this president knows what is good for the country.”
Commenting on the letter, which Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State wrote to the Chinese government to stop the purported loan, Adesina said “every nation has a room for comic relief. If someone chooses to be so idle and be entertaining others, so be it.”
“I am sure so many people laughed when they saw the letter,” he said, adding that president Buhari is a serious-minded person who chooses not to be distracted; hence he does not have time for such comics.
When asked whether Buhari would spend up to two weeks in the country before taking off again, Adesina said if the need arose to travel, the president would do so.
“The president is embarking on these trips in the interest of the country, so if what will prosper Nigeria abroad requires him to travel, he will,” he said.
“Let me share this with you. During the last Sallah celebration in September, the president travelled to Katsina in the morning, he took part in the activities and by 2pm, he was on his way to the United States to represent Nigeria at the UN General Assembly.
“Now, if not for the love for his country, will the president not have stayed back to celebrate with his family?”