The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the World Bank President, Mr David Malpass, to droop any disbursement of $800m loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria and ask the incoming administration to present passable explanations earlier than the loan needs to be disbursed. The Federal Government headed by Muhammadu Buhari in April introduced its plan to spend the $800 million loan from the World Bank as a part of its subsidy palliatives measures and, final week, President Buhari requested the Senates approval for the World Bank loan. However, in a brand new letter dated 13 May 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the group urged Mr Malpass to reopen a dialogue on the reportedly accepted $800m loan with the incoming administration to make clear the small print on the rationale and use of the loan as a result of the time period of workplace of the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari ends in May 2023. The letter reads;”The World Bank should comply with its own Articles of Agreement in disbursing any loans. The Bank should not sacrifice international standards in the rush to disburse the $800m loan to the government. Suspending any disbursement of the loan to the government would reduce the risks and vulnerability to corruption and mismanagement. SERAP is concerned that the government is seeking to spend the loan when it has barely two weeks to leave office and when the project objectives and intended purposes for which the loan is reportedly approved and will be disbursed remain unclear.The government has not satisfactorily explained or justified the need for the loan at this time, especially given the lack of clarity on its use and the crippling debt burden, and the disproportionately negative impact of these retrogressive measures on poor Nigerians. The World Bank cannot close its eyes to this important transparency, accountability and human rights issues. The National Economic Council on April 27 reportedly suspended the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the end of the Buhari administration. We would consider the option of pursuing legal action should the World Bank refuse to suspend the disbursement of the loan to the Federal Government and to implement the other recommendations contained in this letter, and we may join the government in any such suit. The crippling debt burden is a human rights issue because when the entire country is burdened by unsustainable debts, there will be little money left to ensure access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to legally enforceable socio-economic rights. The post Suspend $800m loan to FG – SERAP tells World Bank appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.
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