SERAP Opposes New World Bank Loans, Calls for Investigation of Past Borrowings

SERAP Opposes New World Bank Loans, Calls for Investigation of Past Borrowings


By Mikail Ajibola

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects (SERAP) has called on the World Bank to investigate loans obtained by the 36 state governors in Nigeria and immediately halt further loans until the governors account for the utilization of previously acquired loans. The group’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, conveyed this demand in a letter addressed to World Bank President Ajay Banga.

Expressing concerns about the escalating debt profile of the 36 states, SERAP alleged mismanagement and diversion of public funds, deeming it irresponsible to continue lending to the states. SERAP cautioned that failure to probe the state governors could result in legal action against both the lending body and the states.

“The World Bank and its partners cannot continue to give loans and other funding to these states where there are credible allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds,” stated SERAP. “It is neither appropriate nor responsible lending to give loans to these states only for the loans to be misspent.”

SERAP urged the World Bank to utilize its legal powers to dispatch independent monitors to states that received loans, ensuring transparency in fund utilization and preventing loans from financing private lifestyles of politicians.

“The bank has a legal responsibility to ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice and that any mismanaged or diverted public funds are returned to the treasuries of the states,” SERAP emphasized. The organization also highlighted the World Bank’s obligation to observe and promote compliance with Nigerian laws, including the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.

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