The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman; and the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, over the loan gotten from China.
This is coming after the Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements summoned the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to appear before it on August 17.
The committee investigating the loan he stated that the agreement signed with China might force Nigeria to cede its sovereignty to the Asian country.
The former Governor of River State while reacting to the statement of the committee, noted that investigation of the lawmakers can make China to withhold the loan, thus thwarting rail projects that would be financed with the money.
However, a lawmaker, who spoke condition of anonymity, noted that top officials of the Federal Government had been invited by the panel.
The source said, “As of now, it is not only the minister (Amaechi) that is going to come, the minister of finance will come. The Director-General of the DMO (Debt Management Office will come. The communications minister is coming. The minister of power is also coming. This is because the loans are not limited to transport.”
When asked about the specific loans the House planned to scrutinise, the lawmaker said, “Our focus is on all loans taken Nigerian government from China. That is what we are looking at for now. All this noise about the $500m (loan), the case is even bigger. The $500m loan taken 10 years ago, Nigeria has not even paid back the principal money. We are just servicing (interest). When are we going to start paying back?”