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CHINESE LOANS: ‘There’s no contract without an agreement’, I’m ‘ashamed’ of the reactions —Amaechi

Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation and former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi has denied ceding Nigeria’s sovereignty to China after the House of Representatives raised an alarm over lethal clauses in Article 8(1) of the commercial loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China.

The minister who was reacting on Saturday to the findings by the House of Reps in a series of tweets posted on the timeline of Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media, said that there was no contract without an agreement.

Amaechi who said that an agreement must contain some terms also noted that he was ashamed of those who interpreted the clauses in the commercial loan agreement between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China in the wrong way as the terms in the agreement were included to give a sovereign guarantee.

Amaechi said: “There is no contract without an agreement… and one of the terms that this one contains, is not that you’re signing away the sovereignty of the country. What you do is, you give a sovereign guarantee; and I’m ashamed of those who interpret it the wrong way.

“What we do is ensure that the work is done. We hired an Italian company that goes with our engineers in the ministry to ensure that the Chinese meet the European standard, so that there are no fake things or poorly done work.

READ ALSO: Reps uncover clause in loan agreement ceding Nigeria’s sovereignty to China

“When they check and say yes, this has been done & to the standard approved, then they pass it on to us, we sign and approve that the work has been done. It is then sent to @FinMinNigeria who appends their signature and passes it on to China Exim Bank who then pays to the contractor.

This came days after former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle, recalled that he warned Nigerians on the Chinese loans but was criticized by supporters of the government.

Fayose had in a letter dated April 12, 2016 and addressed to the Chinese authorities, urged the Asian nation to reject loan requests from President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said all Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, were against any applications for new foreign loans.

He added that debt servicing at that time had gulped over 25 percent of the country’s annual budget.

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