The Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, has described as vexatiously unconstitutional the decision of the Ahmed Lawan-led Senate to approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow $22.7 billion despite objection from some Senators.
The rights group believes that the collection of the foreign loans, which would be re-looted by government officials, offends several provisions of the Nigerian constitution including section 16(1); (2) of the Nigerian constitution.
HURIWA noted that the section of the constitution opposes excessive borrowings that makes Nigeria a slave of external jurisdictions and impedes our national drive for self reliance.
Specifically, section 16-(1) provides thus: “The State shall, within the context of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution.
“(a) harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient, a dynamic and self-reliant economy.
“(b) control the national economy in such manner as to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.
(C) without prejudice to its right to operate or participate in areas of the economy, other than the major sectors of the economy, manage and operate the major sectors of the economy.
(d) without prejudice to the right of any person to participate in areas of the economy, protect the right of every citizen to engange in any economic activities outside the major sectors of the economy.
“(2) The State shall direct its policy towards ensuring:
(a) the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development;
“(b) that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.
“(c) that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group.
“(d) that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.”
HURIWA submitted that the constant flying around cap in hand by President Buhari to borrow from all conceivable creditors from all around the world was tantamount to converting Nigeria to a beggarly economy which is against these constitutional provisions.