The former Member, Federal House of Representatives, Prince (Dr.) Ned Munir Nwoko has advised federal and state governments in Nigeria through the Debt Managing Office (DMO) to form a proper synergy between departments and officials, who source, negotiate and secure foreign loans for government to avoid falling into bigger economic problems.
Dr. Nwoko, a lawyer and entrepreneur also urged the governments to limit or stop obtaining loans from the multinational organizations including World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) because of harsh terms and conditions.
He gave the advice during the annual National Public Service Lecture organized by University of Ibadan Alumni Association on the topic, Towards Efficient Management of Nigeria’s Foreign Loans held at Alumni Hall, University of Ibadan on Friday, August 30th, 2019.
Dr. Nwoko, who is a facilitator of Paris Club refunds, while speaking on the importance of foreign towards economic development, disclosed that foreign loans contribute to economic growth of a country or state, he however, noted that positive or negative implications of the foreign loans depend on the conditions attached and manner in which the loan is sourced, negotiated and managed.
He maintained that his role in the negotiation for the payment of Paris Club funds to Nigeria, after the country had exited the London Club in 2006 following series of restructuring in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 2000, was burnt out of patriotism, passion and belief to serve the country.
Nwoko, who is the founder of Star University, Delta State, identified loans from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, International Development Association (IDA) and African Development Bank (ADB), China and commercial creditors as Nigeria’s current debt profile.
He emphasized that foreign loan is expected to be a valuable to augment Internally Generated Revenue of a country or state to provide infrastructures and other related needs, he nevertheless, expressed disappointment over improper utilization of foreign loans in Nigeria, which has been a major factor that makes repayment a difficult task.
Prince Nwoko, a former representative of Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency, Delta State, as a part of measure towards efficient management, urged the Debt Management Office (DMO) to properly negotiate and secure on favourable terms and conditions, ensure transparency and oversees by experts and professionals, ensure proper documentation, develop a good strategy to manage loans and channeling into productive and profit generating ventures.
Dr. Nwoko, while calling on the patriotic citizens to defend their country, he also encouraged the managers of the country’s foreign debt to be on permanent alert to protect the interest of the country from corrupt foreigners and their collaborators from defrauding the country.
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, who is also the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Idowu Olayinka commended the alumni association members for their efforts and contributions to the growth of the institution.
Prof. Olayinka, who decorated and presented the guest lecturer, Dr. Ned Munir Nwoko with Honourary Alumni Award, disclosed that taking loan is not a bad idea to develop the country or state, but noted that its justification depends on what loan is use to do. He reiterated that corruption remains major obstacle in the development of Nigeria.
Earlier in her welcome address, the President, University of Ibadan Alumni Association Worldwide, Prof. Elsie Adewoye stated that the annual public service lecture is not only to proffer or set agenda for body politics in the country, but also to motivate and encourage youths who are determined and devoted time to excel in their academic work.
She explained that the choice of Dr. Munir Nwoko as guest lecturer was a deliberate one, taking into consideration his efforts and contributions to return normalcy back to the country’s economy after it had suffered in the hand of recession.
Prof. Adewoye confirmed that the singular step of the guest lecture has benefited governments at all levels in the settlement of arrears of salary of their workers and pensions, as well as funding other critical needs.
This year’s edition of the Public Service Lecture, which was attended by different personalities from different walks of life including the state governor, Engr.Seyi Makinde, who was represented by Deputy Chief of Staff, Mojeed Mogbojubola and members of Eze Ndigbo in Oyo State, witnessed the presentation of Alumni Association sponsored Scholarship Award and Chief Bola Ige & Justice Atinuke Ige Memorial Award to outstanding students.