The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has written a letter to the World Bank President, David Malpass, requesting him to use his “good offices” to suspend the disbursement of the $800 million loan to the Nigerian government. The organization has also called on Malpass to reopen discussions on the loan with the incoming administration to clarify the rationale and intended use of the funds, given that President Muhammadu Buhari’s term ends in May 2023.
SERAP urges World Bank to suspend $800m loan disbursement to the Nigerian government
- The Nigerian government announced its plan to spend the $800 million loan in April as part of its subsidy palliatives measures.
- President Buhari requested the Senate’s approval for the World Bank loan last week, but it is still being determined whether the request is for a fresh loan or the one announced in April.
- SERAP is concerned that the government is seeking to spend the loan when it has barely two weeks left in office, and the project objectives and intended purposes for which the loan is approved and will be disbursed remain unclear.
SERAP is requesting the World Bank to comply with its own Articles of Agreement in disbursing any loans and not sacrifice international standards in the rush to disburse the loan to the Nigerian government.
The organization is also concerned that the loan’s disbursement would increase the risks of corruption and mismanagement, and the Federal Government has not satisfactorily explained or justified the need for the loan at this time, given the crippling debt burden and the disproportionately negative impact of these retrogressive measures on poor Nigerians.
SERAP has also expressed concerns about the need for more transparency and accountability in the spending of the loans so far obtained, as the details of the projects on which approved loans are spent are often shrouded in secrecy.
The organization has called on the World Bank to seek transparency and accountability commitments if the incoming government decides to use the loan to implement the National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP) since the spending on the program has been mostly shrouded in secrecy.