19th December, 2011
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Gbenga Kaka, has cautioned the Federal Ministry of Finance against external borrowing.
Kaka, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta on Sunday, said the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, recently underscored the need for financial assistant from the World Bank.
While maintaining that such an assistance was uncalled for, Kaka argued that the nationâ€™s economy did not support external borrowing and that such an action would compound Nigeriaâ€™s debt burden.
â€œA lot of tax payersâ€™ money is currently lying fallow in various overseas accounts as a result of selfishness of some corrupt leaders,â€œ Kaka who is representing Ogun East Senatorial District, said.
He warned the government to be weary of financial assistance from World Bank and other donor agencies, saying that most times such financial assistance were being tied to some products.
â€œWorld Bank and other donor agencies give out loans with one hand and collect it back with another hand, while the benefiting countries are worse off at the end of the day.
â€œSo, we need to be very careful in order not to drag the country into another round of debt that will retard our progress and development,â€œ Kaka warned.
He advised the Federal Government to step up its anti-corruption crusade and to make more effort to repatriate funds hidden in foreign accounts.
â€œThe Minister of Financeâ€™s agitation for financial assistance from World Bank is unacceptable, it is unnecessary.
â€œWe have a lot of our funds abroad, such money must be repatriated for the collective use of all Nigerians, instead of borrowing again, â€œ he said.
The Senator also noted that attempts must be made to prevent treasury looters from gaining ground in the countryâ€™s economy.