President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday forwarded a letter to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to urgently approve a $1bn external loan for the Federal Government to confront the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The letter dated July 15, 2014, was read on the floor of the Senate and that of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, by the Senate President David Mark and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal respectively.
In the letter, Jonathan explained that the external loan was urgently needed to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of the Armed Forces and security services in order to enable them to confront the insurgents more forcefully.
The letter titled, “Tackling Ongoing Security Challenges: Need for Urgent Action”, read in part, “You are no doubt cognizant of the ongoing and serious security challenges which the nation is facing , as typified by the Boko Haram terrorist threat. This is an issue that we have discussed at various times. I would like to bring to your attention the urgent need to upgrade the equipment, training and logistics of our Armed Forces and Security Services to enable them more forcefully to confront this serious threat. For this reason, I seek the concurrence of the National Assembly for external borrowing of not more than $1bn, including government to government arrangements for this upgrade.”
The National Assembly had in the N4.6 trillion 2014 Budget provisions, appropriated N968.127bn for Defence on account of the Boko Haram insurgency so it seems quite unbelievable that the President is asking for a loan of $1 billion again.
To be honest his actions raise several questions for us such as – Will the impact of the money be felt by the soldiers fighting Boko Haram? When will the money be repaid? Why exactly is a loan of such an amount needed? And will we get the girls back after this?
What are your thoughts on this huge amount being requested?