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Probe $3.4bn COVID-19 Loan, Petrol Subsidy Savings, CSOs Tell N’Assembly



A Coalition of prominent Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), on Friday, called on the National Assembly to probe the $3.4billion loan collected by the Federal Government from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic without proof of spending from it on any project.

The CSOs also kicked against ceaseless requests for loans by the Federal Government and expeditious approvals given by the National Assembly with little or nothing to show for the loans.

The coalition comprising nine CSOs led by the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, made the call at a media briefing at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Friday.

They alleged that the incessant loan collections by the Federal Government made the debt profile of the country to presently stands at N87.9trillion which is equivalent to $114.3billion.


They also raised poser about savings made by the government from fuel subsidy removal from May 2023 till date, saying it has not been accounted for by the President Bola Tinubu-led government even when Nigerians were experiencing biting economic suffering and high cost of living.

The CSOs, therefore, called for urgent action by the National Assembly to probe the loans and their spending by the previous and current governments in order to better the lives of Nigerians.

“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 milliion 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, investigate the movement and spending of loans received by the Federal Government in the past and present administrations, including but not limited to the $3.4billion 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.


“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,” they said.

Other CSOs represented at the media briefing by their Executive Directors included Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), International Budget Partnership, Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative, Oxfam, Social Action, Christian Aid, and ActionAid, among others.

Source link: Leadership

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