Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted the country has not signed away its sovereignty to China.
Speaking during an interview on AIT on Friday, Amaechi explained that the clause was only to guarantee the repayment of the loan and not for Nigeria to lose its sovereignty.
According to him, the federal government approached China for loans, because of their low interest rates, the payback period and moratorium.
Amaechi claimed the loans were “given for 20 years at 2.8 per cent” and paid “directly to the contractors”.
The Minister noted that if the country stopped taking the loans, the infrastructure projects embarked on by the federal government will be affected.
“No country will sign away its sovereignty. The clause says ‘I expect you to pay according to the terms that we agreed on, but if you don’t pay, when I come to collect the assets you used as guarantee, don’t wave your immunity at me and say you can’t touch our assets because we are a sovereign country.
“What you do is to give a sovereign guarantee, which is the clause generating reactions. And I’m ashamed by those interpreting it the other way,” Amaechi said.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements raised an alarm over loan agreements being entered into by the Federal Government with China.