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Malami, Amaechi clarify Chinese loan, insist Nigeria’s sovereignty not under threat

• OPC accuses President of running down economy

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and his Transportation counterpart, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, have faulted the National Assembly’s position that the nation’s sovereignty was at risk following the loan agreement with China.

During a live programme yesterday in Abuja, the pair said the lawmakers were concentrating on the diplomatic immunity as against the commercial immunity of a country, reiterating that there was no concession whatsoever made as it concerns Nigeria’s nationhood.

Malami clarified that diplomatic immunity has to do with the nation’s sovereignty and corporate existence while commercial immunity is more of commitment to ensure repayment of loans.

The AGF added that the clause was a mere guarantee, a commitment that allows an advancing state (the lender) the powers to claim back an asset for the purpose of repayment of a loan and is in no way, connected to the sovereignty of a country.

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On his part, Amaechi stated: “Nobody has signed out anything. A sovereign nation is a sovereign nation. Nobody can recolonise us. We must learn to pay our debts and we are paying. And once you are paying, nobody will come and take any of your assets.”

He said the previous administration could not even be blamed for the loan or clause in the agreement because it was a standard clause. Also yesterday, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) accused the current administration of running down the economy through its numerous borrowing.

In a statement signed by its publicity secretary, Mr. Yinka Oguntimehin, the group said the development had the potential of pushing the national economy to its kneels.

“There is no doubt that the Buhari government is deeply interested in mortgaging the future of the country, thus making the South West the greatest loser and the poorest in the country,” it alleged.OPC stressed that the current economic situation portends grave danger. It noted that the “financial recklessness of both the past and present administrations actually put the country’s economy in the woods.”

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