Government & Politics

SERAP Gives Wike, Sani, and Others 7 Days to Account for N5.9trn, $4.6bn Loans

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SERAP Gives Wike, Sani, and Others 7 Days to Account for N5.9trn, $4.6bn Loans

SERAP has issued a one-week ultimatum to Nigeria’s 36 state governors, as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Mr. Nyesom Wike, demanding accountability for loan agreements and spending details totaling some N5.9 trillion and $4.6 billion obtained by their respective states and the FCT. The request also includes specifics regarding projects executed with these loans.

In addition, SERAP has urged them to promptly involve the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the spending of both domestic and external loans acquired by their states and the FCT.

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This action by SERAP follows Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State’s recent disclosure that the previous administration left behind significant debts, making it difficult for the state to meet its financial obligations.

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The Freedom of Information requests, dated March 30, 2024, and signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, stress the importance of transparency in how these loans are being utilized. They argue that Nigerians have the right to know how public funds are being managed, especially concerning loans obtained by their states.

SERAP expressed serious concern about potential mismanagement and corruption related to these loans, noting that many states are reportedly borrowing to pay salaries and fund unnecessary expenditures, rather than investing in essential public goods and services.

The organization emphasized the necessity of publishing copies of loan agreements and spending details to facilitate public scrutiny, promote transparency, and hold government officials accountable for their stewardship of public funds. They highlighted that transparency in loan spending is essential to prevent corruption, build trust in democratic institutions, and ultimately strengthen the rule of law.

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Furthermore, SERAP underscored the legal obligations of state governments to provide this information, citing various constitutional and international instruments guaranteeing the right to information and transparency in public affairs.

Failure to comply with SERAP’s requests within the stipulated time frame may result in legal action to compel adherence to these demands in the public interest.

Source: Channels Tv

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