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‘Nigerians deserve to know how $25bn overdraft was spent’

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The federal government owe Nigerians an explanation of how the $25 billion overdraft and loans it obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since 2015 were spent.

Reacting to the suit brought against President Muhammadu Buhari by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), an economist, Austin Ayanna said it was a move in the right direction. 

“SERAP has done nothing wrong or strange. The Freedom of Information Act gives the citizens the right to ask questions and the right to know what the loans are used for; was it used by the federal government for capital expenditure or was it the usual. We need to know if the overdraft granted the FG is true, and what was the content or details of such loans,” Ayanna said.

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 According to Ayanna, the need to know was due to the wastefulness of previous governments. “No Nigerian government has ever been accountable with funds. Past administrations had a penchant for spending and piling decades of debts for Nigerians to repay. In the end, they leave the country more indebted.”

The suit was filed last week in Abuja by SERAP’s lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Adelanke Aremo. In its plea, SERAP stated that transparency and accountability in the spending of CBN overdrafts would ensure public funds are properly spent, reduce the level of public debt, and improve the ability of the federal government to invest in essential public goods and services, such as quality education, healthcare, clean water, and many more.

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