SERAP requests Nigeria’s loan details after China’s ‘move to seize’ Uganda airport
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) is seeking details of Nigeria’s loan agreement with China.
The human rights organization made the announcement Monday night via its Twitter page.
A terse statement disclosed that a Freedom of Information (FoI) request will be made shortly.
SERAP wants the repayment conditions for loans obtained by President Muhammadu Buhari and 36 governors since May 29, 2015.
“Knowing details of Chinese loan agreements is a matter of public interest”, the group tweeted.
The demand followed the news that China is set to “take over” Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport over a $200 million facility (Ush712billion).
The funds were provided after a March 31, 2015 agreement between the country and China’s Export-Import (Exim) Bank.
There are fears that some clauses expose Uganda’s sovereign assets like similar concerns in Nigeria.
Embassy spokesperson, Fang Yi, noted that China adheres to the principles of openness, transparency, equity, and mutual benefits.
“All loans agreements – including the Entebbe Airport expansion and upgrading project – were voluntarily signed by both parties after negotiations without any hidden terms.
“Terms of the loan agreement for the Entebbe Airport expansion and upgrading project are in full compliance with the prevailing conventions and practices in international financial markets.”
Yi said not a single project in Africa has ever been confiscated by China because of failing to pay loans.
On the contrary, the official clarified, the Asian giant is willing to continue efforts in improving Africa’s capacity for home-driven development
“China has sought to reduce the burden of African countries through debt restructuring, mitigation, and reduction by friendly negotiations”, Yi stressed.
In July, China explained that its financial assistance to Nigeria was mutually beneficial and not a plot to hijack its sovereignty.