The former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday reacted to the latest controversy generated by the loan agreement between Nigeria and China.
The House of Representatives said on Tuesday it had discovered clauses in the commercial loan agreement between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Ossai Nicholas, who disclosed this at the plenary, said the clauses conceded Nigeria’s sovereignty to China in the $400 million loan for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project, signed in 2018.
The agreement was signed by Ministry of Finance on behalf of Nigeria and the Export-Import Bank of China on September 5, 2018.
Ossai, who read out the controversial clause, said: “The Borrower hereby irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding pursuant to Article 8(5), thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuant thereto, except for the military assets and diplomatic assets.”
In a series of tweets on his Twitter handle – @ @GovAyoFayose – the ex-governor recalled that he warned Nigerians on the Chinese loans but was criticized by supporters of the government.
Fayose had in a letter dated April 12, 2016 and addressed to the Chinese authorities urged the Asian nation to reject loan requests from President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said all Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, were against any applications for new foreign loans.
He added that debt servicing at that time had gulped over 25 percent of the country’s annual budget.
On the latest development, the ex-governor wrote: “JUST reading that on the $400m loan Nigeria took from China, the APC govt of President Buhari signed agreement that willed away the sovereignty of Nigeria. This is sad.
“The agreement irrevocably waived ‘any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding pursuant to Article 8(5).’
“Nigerians should remember that in April 2016, I warned against these Chinese loans. I even wrote a letter to the Chinese government but those still clapping for this government then criticized me.
“Who is right and who is wrong now?”