SERAP may sue World Bank over Nigeria’s $800m loan request

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the World Bank to suspend the disbursement of the $800 million loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The organisation also urged the institution to request the incoming administration to provide satisfactory explanations for the loan.

The Buhari administration had in April announced its plan to spend the $800 million loan as part of its subsidy palliatives measures.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari requested the approval of the Senate, three weeks before the end of his tenure.

A May 13 letter by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare advised the World Bank to comply with its own Articles of Agreement in disbursing any loans.

The rights group warned the bank’s management against sacrificing international standards in a bid to disburse fresh loans to Nigeria.

SERAP wondered why the Buhari administration is rushing to get another loan when the project objectives and intended purposes remain unclear.

The letter lamented the lack of clarity on its use, the crippling debt burden and the negative impact of the retrogressive measures on poor Nigerians.

“The World Bank cannot close its eyes to these important transparencies, accountability and human rights issues.”

“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.

“When the 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.”

SERAP reminded the World Bank of its responsibility to ensure Nigerian authorities are accountable in discussions to obtain loans, credits or grants.

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