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CSOs urge NASS to probe FG over $3.4bn COVID-19 loan, subsidy savings



A coalition of civil society organisations, CSOs, called on the National Assembly on Friday to probe the $3.4 billion loan collected by the Federal Government from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, in April 2020, without proof of spending it on anything.

They also kicked against ceaseless requests for loans by the Federal Government and expeditious approvals given by the National Assembly with little or nothing to point at as to what the loans were used for.

They added that savings made by the government from fuel subsidy removal from May last year till date, have yet to be accounted for by the government as Nigerians are watching and suffering.

At a media briefing, the nine CSOs led by Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, alleged that the continued loan collections by the Federal Government made the debt profile of the country presently stand at N87.9 trillion, which is equivalent to $114.3 billion.


According to them: “The escalating debt burden has profound implications for the well-being of Nigerian citizens, and failure to act quickly could result in an additional 23 million Nigerians living in poverty and 80 million working-age citizens without a full-time job by 2030.

“These concerning trends underscore the need for the National Assembly to urgently do the needful by, among others, investigating the movement and spending of loans received by the Federal Government in the past and present administrations, including but not limited to the $3.4 billion loan obtained from IMF as reported in the 2020 annual audited report published by the Auditor – General of the Federation; stopping borrowing for recurrent expenditure (personnel and overheads) and dilatory capital expenditure that adds no value to economic growth, wealth creation and development; and demanding accountability for petrol subsidy savings and sincerity of purpose in fulfilling the government ‘s ‘promises of renewed hope’ to the millions of Nigerians who no longer have belts to tighten.”

Other CSOs represented at the media briefing by their executive directors include the Centre for Democracy and Development, International Budget Partnership, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative, Oxfam, Social Action, Christian Aid, and ActionAid, among others.

Source link: Daily Post

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