The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project wants the World Bank to stop lending to Nigeria’s 36 states due to public budget misuse.
The National Bureau of Statistics reported that each Nigerian owes N396,376.19. In Q2 2023, Nigeria’s public debt rose 75.27 percent to N87.38tn.
In a letter, SERAP urged the World Bank to audit state governors’ spending and suspend loans if mismanagement is found.
The group also wants governments to clarify past fund use before approving new loans.
Sunday saw SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare make the call.
It also requested that the global lender “suspend further applications for loans and any other funding to the 36 states until these states can satisfactorily explain details of spending of loans and other facilities obtained from the Bank and its partners.”
“The World Bank and its partners cannot continue to lend and fund these states where there are credible allegations of mismanagement or diversion of public funds,” the statement said.
We worry about the Bank’s investments in several of the nation’s 36 states being mismanaged or diverted. It’s not responsible to lend to these states and have them waste the money.
SERAP reported that Nigeria’s 36 states and Federal Capital Territory have N9.17tn in public debt, according to the Debt Management Office.
The committee also emphasized the Federal Government’s N78.2tn national debt.
SERAP urged the World Bank director to get Nigeria’s 36 governors to agree to investigating credible complaints of public fund misuse or diversion.