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Southern, Middle Belt Leaders: No more loans for Nigeria, it’s a disputed project

The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS) has urged global financial institutions to stop giving loans to Nigeria.

NINAS, which is a multi-ethnic alliance comprising southern and middle belt leaders, said the country is a “disputed project” and that indigenous Nigerians cannot continue to repay such loans.

In a statement on Sunday, June 27, 2021, the group added that further borrowings to the country would be seen as “negligence”.

Chaired by Banji Akintoye, NINAS had earlier asked the government to conduct a referendum for the “indigenous people of southern and middle belt of Nigeria”.

In the statement by Shade Olukoya, chairman of its steering committee, the group said it stands by its position in December 2020 “when we declared a Constitutional Force Majeure.”

The statement read: “We remind the International Community that Nigeria is now a disputed project. This was articulated in our Press Conference of 16 December 2020.

“Subsequent activities as articulated at Press Conferences of 17 March 2021, and 17 April 2021 emphasise that Nigeria remains a disputed project. Knowing this and lending to a disputed project can only be considered negligence.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Indigenous Nations will not, and cannot be expected to repay such loans or allow their assets to be used as collateral to offset the loans.”

Nigeria has been struggling under the weight of increasing public debt stock which stood at N32.92 trillion as of the end of 2020.

A greater part of the debt was incurred under President Muhammadu Buhari.

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