SERAP Wants Spending Plan of N5.9bn, $4.6bn Loan Deals by FCT, States

March 31, 2024

By Adedapo Adesanya 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Nigeria’s 36 state governors and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Mr Nyesom Wike, to publish the spending details of N5.9 trillion and $4.6 billion loans obtained by them.

In a Freedom of Information request dated March 30, 2024, and signed by SERAP deputy director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “It is in the public interest to publish copies of the loan agreements and details of how the loans obtained are spent.”

SERAP also wants the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the spending of the domestic and external loans obtained these executives.

SERAP’s request followed the disclosure last week by Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State that the immediate past administration of Nasir El-Rufai left $587 million, N85 billion debt and 115 contractual labilities, making it impossible for the state to pay salaries.

SERAP said, “Nigerians have the right to know how their states are spending the domestic and external loans obtained by the governors.”

SERAP said, “Widely publishing copies of the loan agreements and spending details of the loans obtained would ensure that persons with public responsibilities are answerable to the people for the performance of their duties in the management of public funds.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you and your state to comply with our request in the public interest.

“SERAP is seriously concerned that many of the country’s 36 states and FCT are allegedly mismanaging public funds which may include domestic and external loans obtained from bilateral and multilateral institutions and agencies.

“Transparency in the spending of the loans obtained by your state is fundamental to increase accountability, prevent corruption, and build trust in democratic institutions with the ultimate aim of strengthening the rule of law,” a part of the request read.

According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), the total public domestic debt portfolio for the country’s 36 states and the FCT is N5.9 trillion. The total public external debt portfolio is $4.6 billion.

Despite this, SERAP noted that many states and the FCT reportedly owe civil servants’ salaries and pensions and “Several states are borrowing to pay salaries. Millions of Nigerians resident in your state and the FCT continue to be denied access to basic public goods and services such as quality education and healthcare.”

SERAP noted that publishing copies of the loan agreements obtained by the parties would allow Nigerians to scrutinise them, and promote transparency and accountability on the spending of public funds including the loans obtained.

“SERAP believes that providing and widely publishing the details of the spending of the domestic and external loans obtained by your state and the FCT would enable Nigerians to effectively and meaningfully engage in the management of the loans,” it said.

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.

Leave a Reply

Respite for Commuters as FG Opens Third Mainland Bridge Soon
Previous Story

Respite for Commuters as FG Opens Third Mainland Bridge Soon

Lagos Commodities Futures Exchange
Next Story

Lagos Commodities Futures Exchange Mulls Crude Oil Trading

Latest from General

Don't Miss