Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari3

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to provide the spending details of all loans obtained by his administration since May 29, 2015.

In a letter to the President dated May 30, 2020, the group urged the Nigerian leader to use his leadership position and the opportunity of the fifth year anniversary of his government to grant its request and called for an independent audit of all loans to resolve the purported allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

SERAP also urged the President to publish the spending details of loans obtained by successive administrations since 1999, as well as the list of countries and bodies that have given such loans with the specific repayment conditions.

It noted that President Buhari had last week sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513 billion to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states.

In its Freedom of Information request, the group decried that while successive governments have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens since 1999, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered.

According to it, opacity in the spending of loans will continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens but SERAP, however, believes transparency will ensure the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.

It also advised the President to cut the costs of governance rather than taking more loans and increasing the nation’s debt burden.

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