The Federal Government has been urged by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) to withdraw its proposal for a new $800 million loan from the World Bank.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of its meeting on Thursday. Recall that on May 10, a letter was sent by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate seeking approval for a loan to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
However, leaders from the southern and middle belt regions have raised concern over the nation’s massive debt, particularly as President Buhari’s term comes to an end on May 29.
Part of the statement reads, “SMBLF notes with serious concern, the continued snowballing level of indebtedness being incurred by the Federal Government, particularly the recent request for $800 million World Bank loan, and calls on the Federal Government to rescind that request.”
“Decries the rising cost of living in the country and the hyperinflation rate, confining a vast majority of ordinary Nigerians to a dire state of survival. Implores government at all levels to take urgent, practical steps to rejig the economy, check inflation and help improve citizens’ well-being and prospects.”
Speaking on the election tribunal, the SMBLF encouraged the judiciary to be open and transparent in its decision-making about post-election issues.
The group advised the courts to administer justice as tribunals continue their work across Nigeria.
Nigerians, it said, “are watching with very keen interest the ongoing judicial processes at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal as well as various election tribunals across the country”.
It salutes the bravery and sageness of Nigerian youths for voting in the general elections of 2023.
The Southern and Middle Belt leaders urged them not to lose hope in the fight for the required change, warning them that it had only just begun while encouraging them not to be disheartened by some of the apparent results.