SERAP Writes Buhari, Seeks Spending Details Of Overdrafts Since 1999
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “provide spending details of the overdrafts and loans obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the Federal Government since May 29, 2015 including the total overdrafts, the projects on which the overdrafts have been spent; repayment of all overdrafts to date, as well as to clarify whether the $25bn (N9.7trn) overdraft reportedly obtained from the CBN is within the five-percent limit of the actual revenue of the government for 2020.”
The organization is also urging him to “provide details of spending of overdrafts and loans obtained from the CBN by successive governments between 1999 and 2015.”
In the Freedom of Information request dated 6 March, 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of CBN overdrafts and loans would promote prudence in debt management, reduce any risks of corruption and mismanagement, and help the government to avoid the pitfalls of excessive debt.”
SERAP said: “Disclosing details of CBN overdrafts and repayments would enable Nigerians to hold the government to account for its fiscal management and ensure that public funds are not diverted, thereby improving the ability of your government to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This means that the government would not have to choose between saving lives or making debt payments.”
According to SERAP, “The increasing level of public debt would threaten the ability of the government to invest in essential public goods and services, such as quality education, healthcare, and clean water. It is the primary responsibility of the government to ensure public access to these services in order to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
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