Nigeria’s N87 Trillion Debt Burden, Church Repeats Call For Africa’s Debts Pardon
By Uchenna Eletuo
Lagos, Sept. 15, 2023 (NAN) The Catholic Church on Friday repeated the call for Nigeria’s N87 trillion and African countries debts to the Group Seven (G7) global leaders, to enable the poor nation’s develop.
The organisations with focus on human development, said that, with the world bank’s record of Nigeria’s debt at N87 trillion and other African countries; that development would remain elusive in the country and the continent if debt relief was not granted.
The church made the appeal at a session organised by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and the Caritas Nigeria, in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos reports that, the session with the theme “Transparency in the Utilisation of Externally Borrowed Funds and Equity in the Allocation of Special Drawing Rights: The Position of Faith-based and Other Non-state Actors in Nigeria” was to proffer solutions to the debt burden.
It reports that, the event which drew participants from the academics, civil societies, faith organisations and the corporate world; reviewed intentions for external borrowings and its utilisations by nation’s.
The church decried the perinneil use of government revenues for debt servicing, said that a debt relief was imperative to for the poor countries to advance.
The body called on donor organisations to stop borrowing African nation’s funds where such funds originally meant for capital projects ends up in financing overheads and private purses.
Speaking at the event, the President of the Caritas Nigeria, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martin’s, said that, there should be accountability in the utilisation of borrowed funds.
Adewale Martin’s who doubled as the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, represented by Rev. Fr. Raymond Anoliefo, said that, debt relief for Africa by the G7 global leaders was a matter of moral obligation.
According to him the church as the moral conscience of the society has reviewed the external loans and its utilisations, advocates pardon for the poor nation’s for humanity.
“The Gospel of mercy, solidarity and debt relief is a gesture of global development and human sustainability.
“There should be responsible stewardship of loan administration both for the lender and the recipient to ensure it does not become a burden to unborn generation.
“The debt relief in all intent should not be seen as an act of Charity but a moral imperative to salvage human society.
“Debt relief for African countries is a matter of moral concern. The church guided by the teachings of successive Popes has consistently emphasised the need for justice and peace in the global economic order,” he said.
He said that in a world that was becoming increasingly interconnected, that global challenges demanded global solutions.
He stressed that, vulnerable African countries especially those in the Sub-Saharan find themselves ensnared in a cycle of debt that stifles their development.
He re-echoed Pope Francis’s call for a globalisation of solidarity advocates for a compassionate response to African debt crisis, said the continued debt burden would increase Africans human crises that could destabilise the world.
Speaking at the event, the guest lecture, Dr Patrick Osuji, said that, there was nothing wrong in borrowing, but such loans should be self reliance by administering them to capital projects for which they were given.
Osuji, whose lecture bordered on the use of the loans, frown at the wrong use of the loans by African leaders.
He called on the civil society and other Non-state actors to ask questions on the use of funds to avoid misuse.
He regretted that, African leaders that lavish resources and mortgage the future of their people, do not seek the views of the people before requesting for the loans.
NAN reports that, successive Popes had requested for the cancellation of Afrians debts from the Western world for better global society (NAN)