Loan Deal: FG’s Creditors Can’t Take Over An Inch Of Yoruba Land, Afenifere Warns

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The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere has reacted to a controversial clause contained in a loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China, which allegedly concedes sovereignty of Nigeria to China.

Article 8 (1) of the $400 million loan agreement for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project, signed in 2018 had compelled Nigeria to waive its immunity for itself or its property in case of a breach of the agreement.

The clause in the agreement states: “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.”

The clause has generated negative comments from Nigerians since it was uncovered at the House of Representatives’ hearing where the Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi appeared during the week.

Reacting to the revelation, Afenifere declared that no inch of Yoruba land will be ceded to creditors of the Federal Government should there be reasons for its creditors to make such demands.

In a statement by its spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere described the disclosure that a clause in a loan agreement signed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government ceded the sovereignty of Nigeria and its assets if the nation defaults in payment as worrisome.

Odumakin said: “The Yoruba nation will not allow an inch of its land to be taken over by any foreign interest to which  any government that is loan-crazy must have concessioned the sovereignty.

We are not aware of any such authority given to any government to do such. “Let lenders beware so they don’t give loans beyond what any regime can repay in its tenure.”

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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