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Nigerian NGO seeks moratorium on govt borrowing
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the
country's federal government to provide information on how it spent the
700 billion naira it borrowed between 31 Dec. 2012 and 30 April, 2013,
and also to introduce a moratorium on borrowing (US$1=155 naira).
to a statement issued by the NGO and made available to PANA here
Monday, the request, on the strength of the country's Freedom of
Information (FOI) law, was made through a letter it sent to the
Accountant-General of the Federation Mr. Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla.
The organisation threatened to take legal action should the government not provide the information within 14 days.
the government has borrowed over N6.54tn from national sources and its
external borrowing is growing, there is no evidence on the ground to
show that the huge sums of money have been put to good use to benefit
millions of economically and socially vulnerable Nigerians.
In fact, we fear the money could have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen
this huge borrowing, the same period also witnessed decreased spending
on basic social services such as roads, electricity, health, education,
and thus explaining in part why the government has lagged behind in the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. We are further
concerned about the country’s growing debt problem because this will
continue to weaken the capacity of this government to fulfil its human
rights obligations and commitment, thus throwing millions of Nigerians
deeper into poverty,” the organisation wrote in the letter.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said
last week that the government increased its borrowing in securities by
700 billion naira between 31 Dec. 2012 and April 30, 2013, and that the
government has spent more than 2 trillion in four months.
said it is ''seriously concerned'' about this high level of spending by
the government within this short period of time, especially given the
fact that government borrowed almost the same amount between 2011 and
''Unless a moratorium on debt borrowing and periodic
transparent audits of debt are introduced, the current unsustainable
debt situation will continue to jeopardise the well-being of not only
the present generation but also the future generation,'' the
organisation also said.
Source: African Manager