The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday told the federal government to forget about its planned World Bank loan and do everything to compel the international oil companies to pay the sum of $100bn they are owing the government.
Speaking in Enugu during a national leadership retreat, the NLC President Ayuba Wabba said it was better for the government to try to recover what IOCs have been owing than going for the World Bank loan.
Wabba was reacting to the plan by the government to borrow $3bn loan from the world bank to finance the power sector.
According to him, it was unjustifiable to seek the world bank loan when the IOCs were owing the government so much money.
Wabba said, “A few days ago, Femi Falana urged the Federal Government to reject an additional loan from the World Bank and instead pursue the payment of funds accruable to Nigeria from periodic adjustments in remittances by the International Oil Companies subject to increases in the price of crude oil above $US20 per barrel. Nigerian government officials failed to activate this clause for more than 20 years thus allowing the IOCs to stash away more than $US100 billion in unpaid royalties to Nigeria. It is incredible to imagine that we have this much stolen from us and we are going cap in hand to the World Bank for loans. How can we be washing our hands with saliva by the riverbank?”
“We call on the Federal Government not to rest on its laurels until it recovers every kobo owed us by the IOCs. Government officials behind this criminal neglect must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”.
The NLC President also said government should not complain on the issue of payment of the minimum wage and other infrastructure issues since it has a lot of public funds in private hands.