The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide spending details of all loans obtained by the government since May 29, 2015.
The organisation made in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request dated 30 May, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.
The FOI request read in part: “While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape or form.”
“Any unresolved allegations of mismanagement, bribery and corruption in the use of loans would continue to deprive millions of Nigerians access to basic public goods and services, and would leave your government without the resources to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.”
“We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”
“We urge you to ensure that those suspected to be responsible for any mismanagement and corruption are promptly referred to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for further investigation, and where there is relevant admissible evidence, prosecution.
“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by your government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.”
“We also urge you to promptly instruct Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since the assumption of office in May 2015 which include:
“Details of the spending of loans obtained by your government since May 29, 2015, including specific details of projects and locations of the projects as well as the conditions of any such projects;
“Total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by your government, including the interest rate, the details of debts inherited from the previous administrations, and details of refinancing of any such loans, as well as any strategy put together on borrowing decisions, and to promote sustainable borrowing;
Whether any public officials solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans.”