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SERAP demands audit of FG’s loans since 1999

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Bola Tinubu to release copies of loan agreements obtained by the governments of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari. SERAP also urged the President to disclose the spending details of these loans, including interests and other payments made so far, and to conduct an independent audit on the spending of these loans.

In a Freedom of Information Act request dated April 13, 2024, and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP emphasized the importance of this information in shedding light on the nation’s debt profile and addressing issues of extreme poverty and lack of access to basic public goods and services.

According to SERAP, Nigeria’s total public domestic debt portfolio stands at N97.3 trillion ($108 billion), with the Federal Government’s debt at N87.3 trillion ($97 billion). The organization expressed concern over the mismanagement, diversion, or theft of substantial parts of the loans obtained by successive governments since 1999, which remain unaccounted for.

SERAP stressed the need for transparency and accountability in how these loans are spent to reduce vulnerability to corruption and mismanagement. It emphasized that providing copies of the loan agreements would allow Nigerians to scrutinize them and demand accountability for the spending.

The organization requested that these measures be taken within seven days, warning of legal action if the government fails to comply in the public interest.

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