Lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has advised the Federal Government to expedite action in recovering the sum of $200 billion stolen from the nation’s treasury at various times rather than seeking foreign loans.
Falana gave the advice in a five-page letter addressed to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, dated April 8, 2016.
In a copy of the letter made available to Daily Trust in Lagos on Sunday, the rights activist said he was disturbed that the government was considering taking another $2 billion loan from China even when the minister, in a response to a previous letter on $3 billion loans from World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) in March, had assured that his concerns were being addressed by government.
A part of the letter read, “Following a recent report that the Federal Government had concluded arrangements to take a loan of $2.5 billion from the World Bank and $1 billion the African Development Bank we wrote to the administration requesting it to jettison the plan. In our letter dated February 12, 2016 addressed to your good self we urged the Federal Government to explore alternative sources of raising revenue to fund the 2016 budget instead of increasing the nation’s external debt of $64 billion.
“In particular, we requested the federal government to embark on the recovery of the revenue of $42 billion withheld from the Federation Account from 1999-2012 by some transnational oil companies, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other agencies of the federal government. In your reply dated March 17, 2016 you assured us that the issues raised in our letter were receiving the attention of the Federal Government. We were therefore surprised to learn that the administration has applied to the Chinese Government for another loan of $2 billion.
“In urging the Federal Government to desist from taking the loan of $2 billion from China or any other country we are compelled to advise the Federal Government to intensify efforts to recover the nation’s wealth which has been criminally diverted by a handful of local and foreign looters.”