NIGERIA: Bishops Alarmed by Frequent Government Borrowing


OWERRI, FEBRUARY 8, 2022 (CISA)-Catholic Bishops of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province have during its first plenary of 2022, expressed concern at frequency of borrowings by federal and state governments to finance budget shortfalls.

The statement signed by the Chairman, Most Rev. Anthony J. V. Obinna and Secretary Most Rev Augustine N. Echema said that although the government needs loans, there should be transparency on the use of the loans.

“At the last count, the Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria has reported that Nigeria currently, is indebted up to the tune of N32 trillion. While we recognize the economic need, and sometimes, the necessity of government taking loans, we insist that every responsible Nigerian government must exercise prudence in the borrowing and management of such loans, so as not to mortgage the future of the nation since by and large, loans must be repaid.”

The bishops also noted that the harsh economic conditions being experienced in the country and continuous sit-at-home order effected every Monday in Igboland continuous having a devastating effect on the economic and social life of the people and adversely affecting their means of livelihood.

“For some time now, the people of South East Nigeria, have been forced to sit-at-home on frequent occasions. The situation has become so confusing because some of these orders and counter orders are now being issued and enforced by criminal elements,” said the bishops, noting how the order has continuously affected education in the region.

“Children are kept out of school and learning is carried out under the climate of fear and uncertainty. This status quo cannot be allowed to continue. We appeal to the government to fulfil its constitutional duty of protecting lives and property and to initiate avenues of dialogue with agitators. We equally appeal to all those indiscriminately issuing orders, to respect the fundamental human rights of those they seek to protect and fight for,” the bishops said.

The clerics also lamented that for so long, the problems facing the country, have remained intractable and the solutions farfetched.

“Today in Nigeria, we are witnessing terrible darkness in the shape of unreasonable hatred, wickedness, brutality, and bloodshed. With the consequent breakdown and failure of governance across the nation, various militant groups terrorists, and bandits emerged, foisting a state of anxiety and anarchy, on the whole nation,” they said while suggesting solutions to the violence before the next elections begin.