Chinese loans: Reps to question Ahmed, Amaechi, others today

The house of representatives during a plenary
EJ
Emeh Joy

The House of Representatives is set to interrogate ministers and top government officials over Nigeria's external borrowings, especially from China today (Monday).

The House Committee on Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements had earlier summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; And, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

It also summoned the Minister of Power Saleh Mamman and the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, among others.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Nicholas Ossai told news correspondents on Sunday that those summoned were expected to appear before the panel on Monday.

"We are sitting tomorrow; we adjourned to August 17. We expect everybody to be there", he said.

Earlier on July 28, 2020, the committee had grilled the Minister of Transportation and had asked him to reappear before the panel on August 17.

Also, on the same July 28, the panel had commenced an investigation into the external loans taken by Nigeria starting with a $500m loan borrowed from China for rail projects.

The lawmakers had raised the alarm over the loan agreements signed between Nigeria and China while stating that the deal might force Nigeria to concede its sovereignty to the Asian nation if the loans weren't repaid.

However, Amaechi who appeared before the committee had said the probe would send a wrong message to China and might bring an end to the loans; thus, thwarting the nation's railway projects.

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