The Debt Management Office has refuted the claim by a non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability, that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP in a statement yesterday hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn.”
But DMO in its rebuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations,” DMO said on Monday.
The PUNCH reports that SERAP had sued the FG following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had ‘no explanations on the status of the project.’ She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action.”