Advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has advised the World Bank to tread carefully in the disbursement of $114.28m to Nigeria to tackle economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group said in giving the $114.28m facility to Nigeria, the World Bank must obtain an undertaking from the federal and state governments that they would be transparent in the handling of the funds.
SERAP gave the advice in an open letter on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, to the President of the World Bank, Mr David Malpass.
The open letter was titled, ‘COVID-19: SERAP asks the World Bank to tread carefully in disbursing $114.28m credit for Nigeria’.
The group urged Malpass to “put pressure on authorities and the 36 state governors to accept voluntary scrutiny by Nigerians and civil society regarding the spending of the funds and use of the resources, including on how they will spend the money to buy medical equipment, and improve access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.”
SERAP said, “The World Bank has a responsibility to ensure that federal authorities and state governments are transparent and accountable to Nigerians in how they spend the approved credit and grant. The Bank should tread carefully in the disbursement of funds or distribution of resources to states if it is to reduce vulnerability to corruption and mismanagement.
“Insisting on transparency and accountability would ensure repayment of the credit, and protect the project objectives and intended purposes for which the funds and resources are approved, disbursed and distributed.
“The World Bank’s power to provide credits and grants is coupled with a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that governments spending such funds meet international standards of transparency and accountability, including those entrenched in the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”