Chinese loans will help correct Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit – Presidential aide

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Nigeria needs the loan from China to correct infrastructure deficit, achieve economic recovery as well as its growth plan within the shortest time frame.

Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, the special assistant to the president on justice reform sector and National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership, said this when she reacted to criticisms that loan from China would mortgage the future of the country.

Mrs Ibekaku-Nwagwu, a senatorial aspirant in Enugu West on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said this in Enugu on Tuesday.

“How can we genuinely experience any economic growth without infrastructural development, especially when the country lacks the capacity to fund such under this current economic crunch?

“World over, developed countries build their economies by augmenting with foreign loans, so long there is a well-structured plan to repay. President Muhammadu Buhari has the discipline and prudency to manage such funds.

“The problem we experienced under previous administrations was that they were reckless in spending, especially when they borrowed to service recurrent expenditures which gave room for such monies to end up in the pockets of individuals.’’

She said that Mr Buhari’s administration had tied each loan to specific capital projects with terms and conditions of contract clearly spelt out with prospective contractors before China released such funds.

According to her, some of the debts incurred are self-liquidating.

“It is better to collect a loan and use it to build standard roads that can be repaid with monies collected from toll-gates than allowing such roads in deplorable conditions.”

On the complaint that projects to be financed with such loans would go to Chinese firms, she said that the bottom line was delivering quality projects and not who gets what.

“They must justify the huge tax payers’ funds they are giving out as loans by creating employment for her citizens and ensuring that Chinese firms are awarded the contracts.

Nigeria’s partnership with China, she added, had resulted in the execution of vital projects on infrastructure valued at over five billion dollars across the country in the last three years.

Mrs Ibekaku-Nwagwu said that the projects were in the areas of infrastructure, human capacity development, power, transport and agriculture.

She urged the people of Enugu West to support the president and his aspiration to help make appropriate legislation in the 9th Assembly for the good governance of the zone and the country at large.

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