…Says Terms Of Loans Agree With Internationally Recognized Standards
…Vouches for Amaechi’s patriotism, experience and shrewdness in negotiation loans deals
…Reminds Nigerians that President Buhari only activates and implements loan deals initiated by the Jonathan Administration
…Describes those linking Amaechi to plots to sell Nigeria’s sovereignty as overly mischievous with political agenda
The ceding of Nigeria’s sovereign immunity to China in a loan agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Export Import Bank of the People’s Republic of China for the funding of critical rail infrastructure across the country has dominated national discuss as it continues to generate mixed feelings among Nigerians following an ongoing probe by the lower chamber’s Committee on Treaties.
The Committee had expressed worries over the insertion of a clause relinquishing the immunity of Nigeria to China should the country default on the terms of the memorandum.
Reacting to the development, former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Treaties, Hon. Osai Osai, misconceived and garbled the purport of the clause and his phony slant sent shivers down every Nigerians and sparked needless reactions from different quarters.
Chief Eze first helped Nigerians to understand what a loan means, harping on an African proverb that says when people urinate together, it produces foam, showing that when capital comes together, it executes bigger projects that scattered funds could not execute.
He explained that the said clause generating the controversy is Article 8(1) of the agreement, which provides that “The borrower hereby irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding pursuant to Article 8(5), thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuant thereto, except for the military assets and diplomatic assets”.
In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress said Article 8(1) does not in any way suggest the leasing of Nigeria or her sovereignty to China.
Simply put, Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine by which the government of a foreign country is immune from suit in the courts outside its jurisdiction.
Eze, a seasoned media chief, said in common law jurisdiction, an independent sovereign state may not be sued in the courts against its will and without its consent. This doctrine of state or sovereign immunity evolved from rules of international law and same has been internalised and made part of the common law of England which forms part of Nigeria’s body of laws.
Under the common law, exercise of the court’s jurisdictions against the sovereign state is deemed incompatible with the superior authority of the sovereign state. The doctrine is founded upon the broad considerations of public policy, International law and comity rather than on any technical rules of law.
Flowing from the above and borrowing inference from the provisions of the very comprehensive and standard Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), a piece of legislation of the United States, a sovereign debtor, defending against a collection action may seek refuge in the FSIA. The Act was enacted to codify restrictive theory of sovereign immunity of states.
Although the FSIA serves as a jurisdictional bar to certain suits involving the official conducts of a foreign country, the Act provides several exceptions to that immunity. One of such is in the context of sovereign loan defaults; the sovereign may relinquish its immunity by express or implied waiver. Most sovereign bonds and loan agreements contain express waivers of sovereign immunity.
In addition and importantly too, the Act provides that a foreign state is not immune from jurisdiction in suits arising from acts that the Sovereign performs in connection with certain commercial activities.
This is the chief reason a waiver of sovereign immunity clause, like Article 8(1) quoted above, is usually inserted in a foreign loan agreement, such that Nigeria has entered into with China.
Succinctly, the clause only allows the lender to institute arbitration proceedings and enforce the arbitral award against a sovereign debtor (in this case, Nigeria) and its assets in another jurisdiction or country if the Sovereign fails to pay back the loan and not to take over the sovereignty and the running of the economy of the sovereign debtor as is being peddled around.
He emphasized that bilateral relations would be chaotic, if not impossible if the law had allowed a sovereign promissor to lean on the cloak of sovereign immunity to break contractual terms without at least placing it under obligation, by way of specific performance, to pay compensation for damages occasioned by the default.
Dismissing the fictitious insinuation that Nigeria may have been mortgaged to China, the party chief counselled propagators of the falsehood to seek proper clausal interpretation from experts and desist from rubbing the country’s image in the mud, stressing that Nigeria is full of intellects to be coaxed into an extravagant and monstrous lies.
Explaining further, Chief Eze said the loan agreement was signed on December 20, 2010, under the presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and that the current administration only activated the agreement.
He therefore submitted that the Jonathan’s administration which bargained and signed the agreement and the current administration that only activated and implemented the terms thereof would not have acted if the terms were in breach of the Nigerian laws.
On the erroneous assumption that the country has been enmeshed in excessive debt, Chief Eze explained that taking loans at low interest rates can be more desirable than raising taxes. He said the loans are essential to cover for domestic resource gaps and finance projects that will provoke economic fillip, reduce poverty and foster longer-term growth.
The party chieftain quoted the estimates of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), the Washington-based global association of the financial industry, as positing that the overall international borrowing rose to more than $246 trillion in the first trimester of 2019, nearly 320% of worldwide GDP. Simply put, the world borrows over three times more than it produces. It cannot be Nigeria alone.
He stated that the biggest economies of the world such as the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, China, Italy, Canada, Netherlands etc are heavily involved in sovereign debts and rely on foreign loans for the financing of critical national projects. He maintained that no sovereign has achieved greatness without the support of other nations through loans.
The party stalwart described sovereign debt as the total capital that is owed to creditors outside of a country’s territory. He said Nigeria has maintained a very responsible level of external borrowing to save the country from distress which he said could affect the progress already recorded on the aggregate performance of the economy within the past few years.
He called on the House Committee on Treaties to place national interest beyond self, cooperate and give necessary support to the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Amaechi, for the speedy completion of more rail infrastructure to create jobs and improve the economy, assuring that the country is safe under the President Mohammadu Buhari-led federal government. He appealed to political activists who only understand politics to allow experts to discuss and handle this matter. He said the House Committee can obtain other international loan deals to see if they have no single obligation clause upon the sovereign borrower.
Assuring Nigerians of more results from the Transportation Ministry under Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Eze called for a temporary halt on the probe to allow for the commitment and implementation of the terms of the loan on the part of the Chinese in order to see to the completion of the specific loan projects for the use and enjoyment of Commuters. He expressed confidence in the competence and dexterity of Amaechi in negotiating bilateral agreement terms to the advantage of Nigeria.
It is his advice that what should concern Nigerians is how those coming after this administration and could be the ones to manage the built railway system would have to maintain the same credibility and capability in managing the rails and repaying the loans.
In conclusion, Eze Vouches for Amaechi’s patriotism, experience and shrewdness in negotiation loans deals and described those linking him with the plots to sell Nigeria’s sovereignty as overly mischievous and misguided with political agenda whose plots to tarnish the image of the administration of President Buhari will fail accordingly.
He further expressed sadness of those asking for the head of Amaechi for just because of politics and pleaded with them to leave Amaechi alone so that he will continue with the great plans he has for a better and greater Nigeria.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
APC Chieftain & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP
NIGERIA @ 60: DON’T DESPAIR, EXPECT A GREATER NIGERIA, SAYS GOV. DAPO ABIODUN
Lagos based business man wins TYLgames N1million grand prize
A Lagos based young entrepreneur, Emmanuel Umoga, has emerged the first N1million grand prize winner at the inaugural draw and cheque presentation ceremony of the lottery platform, TYLgames in Lagos.
The TYLgames grand launch and cheque presentation that took place at Calabar Hall in Surulere, Lagos at the weekend saw another 29 gamers being presented with their winning cheques ranging from N10, 000 to N500, 000.
TYLgames, a gaming (Lottery) platform is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives one game at a time. The focus is on gamers rather than on the gaming platform; placing in their hands the power to transform their lives with each game they play hence the acronym “TYL”.
TYL is an Instant Play, Instant Win, instant cash out game played on SMS, USSD, and Mobile Web platforms with the short code 33088. There are currently two games available to choose from, an instant numbers game tagged “SHOKI” and “SHAFFLE” which is a daily raffle game. With N100 game cost, a player can win up to N100,000 instantly and up to N1,000,000 in 24 hours by dialing or texting to 33088 or *33088# for USSD respectively.
According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Humber Group, owners of TYLgames, Mr. Andrew Humber-Osofisan, “TYLgames is an innovative luxury product that is designed to positively touch gamers’ lives in real time.”.
“You can change your life with N100”, Andrew Humber-Osofisan said. “Currently, there are two games available to choose from, SHOKI and SHAFFLE. SHOKI is an instant number game while SHAFFLE is a daily raffle game. Every time you dial *33088#, you win a SHAFFLE ticket that qualifies you for a draw that will be done every night, making you stand to win up to N1 million. Every successful play is charged N100.”
On transparency, he said, the regulatory authorities and Lagos State government are fully involved hence the platform desire to be credible and transparent
The Managing Partner of Cognitio Communications, Mr. Sam Osunsoko, referred to TYLgames as a vision of empowerment due to the fact that it came at a time when the economy has suffered at the hand of COVID 19 pandemic.
“TYLgames gives you the opportunity to win different range of prizes that can help you cushion the effect of the current economic hardship” he said.
Mr. Bola Shodipo, Former Special Adviser to the Lagos State government on Revenue and Taxation, who encouraged and mandated the managers of TYLgames to make sure the platform is fair to the gamers, stated that state government is to ensure growing opportunities that can increase the GDP of the state. “TYLgames is an economic activity that can grow the GDP of Lagos State and by extension, the Federal government”, he said.
The Deputy Director/Coordinator National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs. Onuzulu Priscilla Nkiru, ascertained that TYLgames is approved and that Humber Group has been doing the right thing from day one. She encouraged gamers to shout out if there is any reneging on promises made.
An elated Umoga who narrated his experience said, “I saw the game online and I played. I played only once and my number was picked. It is very refreshing to know that game like this exist in Nigeria. I want to encourage Nigerians to play this game because it is valid,” he said.
Amongst the thirty winners who emerged during the inaugural draws Umoga, the grand prize winner of N1 million, Mr. Opeoluwa Ogundibo and Mr. Kehinde Sadik were present at the cheque presentation ceremony.
OLOMORE RESIDENTS, MOTORISTS SEEEK ABIODUN’S INTERVENTION ON BAD ROADS
Residents of Olomore Housing Estate in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State and Motorists have again appealed to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to urgently repair gapping potholes and bad portions of Olomore, Brewery roads.
Both residents and motorists had insisted that the areas has not had it as bad as it had been in the past two to three years under the past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The Community Leaders, Businessmen, Traders and Commuters in the areas have called on the governor to factor Olomore, Brewery roundabout into the key areas he would pay attention to, noting that it has been very difficult for people of the areas to ply the roads as they usually arrived lately to their various destinations.
A Community Leader, Elder Jacob Fagbounge said that it was pathetic that Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration had forgotten the people of the area, noting that no roads in Olomore Housing Estate was motorable, as even the link road had been in deplorable situation as such.
He said that it took the Community Development Associations (CDAs) of Olomore to take the bull by the horn in repairing the roads during the lockdown period, saying that no refund was made to them by the State Government till date.
“We need to repair the roads by ourselves during the lockdown period, as we find it very difficult to ply the road, though it was a self-help projects but now that it is beyond our capacity, Governments needs to come to our aid by putting the roads in better condition for the betterment of our people,” Fagbounge said
Solomon Ajakanri, a motorist, who plies Olomore- Brewery road, said it was sad that such a terrible road was still existing in Nigeria, while describing the road as a death trap, Ajakanri called on both the Federal and State Governments to take urgent steps to fix it.
“Imagine, a journey from Olohunda to Abeokuta that is supposed to be for one hour take well over two hours because of the poor condition of our roads, especially this Olomore and Brewery roundabout,” he said
It will be recalled that in July this year, Ogun State Government said that it was aware of the challenges confronting residents as a result of deplorable conditions of roads spread across the State, but till date most of these roads has not been attended to by the government.
The State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya then stated that all the deplorable roads across the state would be repaired, but those of Olomore, Brewery roundabout, Oke-Ata, Ibara Orile and many more remain same as at filling this report.
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