Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday cautioned the federal government against taking loans from the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) in order to fund the 2016 budget.
The government has proposed N6.08 trillion for the 2016 fiscal year with a deficit of over N1.8 trillion to be financed via domestic and foreign borrowing.
In a statement he issued on Sunday, the senior lawyer argued that if the over $25 billion (about N5 trillion) debt allegedly accumulated by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) could be recovered, it should fund the budget without borrowing.
He said the amount being owed far exceeds the $3.5bn government intends to borrow.
Falana listed another source of funding as monies recovered from various audits carried out by the National Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), among others.
According to him, if the FG goes ahead to take the loans from the World Bank and AfDB, the conditions attached would become a burden to the country.
The rights lawyer, however, acknowledged the government’s efforts in recovering stolen funds, especially the ongoing arms probe.
While acknowledging the concerted efforts to recover the looted wealth of the nation through the anti-graft agencies and the arms procurement panel, Mr. Falana was of the view that the Buhari administration should embark on the immediate recovery of the aforesaid loans and accrued revenues with a view to financing the 2016 budget and infrastructure development.