Don’t approve fresh loan for Buhari, Afe Babalola tells N’ Assembly


The Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), on Wednesday, cautioned the National Assembly against approving any fresh loan facility or request regarding financial matters for the outgoing government of the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

Babalola, who expressed disbelief that Buhari could be seeking a fresh loan despite the country’s mounting debt profile, said the National Assembly should not accede to such a request a few days before the end of the tenure of the Buhari administration.

He spoke in Ado Ekiti at the 12th Aare Afe Babalola Annual Public Lecture organized by the Nigerian Bar Association, Ado Ekiti Branch titled, “Addressing the Nigerian economic challenges through the instrumentality of the law and future economic challenges,” which was delivered by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Joash Amupitan (SAN).

Buhari had recently written to the Senate to seek its approval for an $800 million loan, saying, “Please note that the Federal Executive Council approved an additional loan facility to the tune of USD800 million to be secured from the World Bank for the National Social Safety Net Programme and the need to request for your consideration and approval to ensure early implementation.


“The Senate may wish to note that the programme is intended to expand coverage of shock responsive safety net support among the poor and vulnerable Nigerians. This will assist them in coping with the costs of meeting basic needs,” the president’s letter stated.


But Babalola said, “I do not expect the parliament to accede to that request. How can you be an undeclared bankrupt country and yet be borrowing more money? I do not think that any right-thinking person will give us a loan with trillions of Naira debt. I believe and sincerely hope that the National Assembly will not approve it.

“The type of elections being held in the country cannot produce the right people. If we had the right people in the National Assembly they would have instantly turned down the request of President Buhari to borrow $800 million. That is why I am an advocate of a new constitution and I want you to join me in that crusade,” he said.

The guest lecturer, Prof. Amupitan, who said that Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution must be made justiciable, said that implementing the chapter would promote the well-being, welfare and security of the average citizen, promote economic growth and development and ensure an egalitarian society.

He also urged the country’s apex court to move from just error correction to policy courts, saying, “We need the likes of Lord Denning, Justice Marshall of the United States, Justice Kayode Eso, Justice Obaseki, Justice Oputa, Justice Niki Tobi, and the like to reactivate the era of judicial activism in Nigeria.”