SERAP Tells Governors, Wike to Account For Trillions of FAAC Allocations

April 21, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened legal action against the 36 state governors alongside the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, if they fail to make public documents on the spending of trillions of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations received by their respective states and the FCT since 1999.

The group made the request via a statement issued by its Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, who equally urged the governors and the FCT Minister “to invite the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to jointly track and monitor the spending of FAAC allocations by your state and the FCT and to probe any allegations of corruption linked to the allocations.”

The group’s request came sequel to reports that FAAC disbursed N1.123 trillion to the federal, state, and local governments for March 2024 alone and that states collected N398.689 billion.

SERAP, through its Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated April 20, 2024, stated that, “Nigerians ought to know in what manner public funds including FAAC allocations, are spent.

“Without this information, Nigerians cannot follow the actions of their states and the FCT, and they cannot properly fulfil their responsibilities as citizens.

“Trillions of FAAC allocations received by Nigeria’s 36 states and the FCT have allegedly gone down the drain. The resulting human costs directly threaten the human rights of socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.”

The FoI requests, read in part: “Ensuring that the FAAC allocations received by your state and the FCT are spent to achieve the security and welfare of Nigerians are serious and legitimate public interests.

“Secrecy in the spending of FAAC allocations received by your state and the FCT is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations.

“Secrecy in the spending of FAAC allocations received by your state and the FCT also denies Nigerians the right to know how public funds are spent. Transparen

cy in the spending would allow them to retain control over their government.”

“The documents should include the evidence and list of specific projects completed with the FAAC allocations collected, the locations of any such projects and completion reports of the projects.

“The documents should also include details of the salaries and pensions paid from the FAAC allocations collected, as well as the details of projects executed on hospitals and schools with the FAAC allocations.

“Despite the increased FAAC allocations to states and FCT, millions of residents in your state and the FCT continue to face extreme poverty and lack access to basic public goods and services.

“The reported removal of petrol subsidy and the floating of the exchange rate by the Federal Government has translated into increased FAAC allocations to states and the FCT. However, there is no corresponding improvement in the security and welfare of millions of Nigerians.”

SERAP added that “FAAC allocations received by your state and the FCT are reportedly characterized by mismanagement, diversion of funds, and abandoned projects. FAAC allocations have also been allegedly spent for other purposes such as election campaigns and political patronage.

“Publishing the documents on the spending of FAAC allocations by your state and the FCT would promote transparency, accountability, and reduce the risks of corruption in the spending of the funds.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

“If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel you and your state and the FCT to comply with our requests in the public interest.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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