By Henry Uche, Lagos
The Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP) has vowed not to retreat from the fight against corrupt practises and its quest to pursue transparency and accountability in the public domain, despite resistance from some public office holders in the country.
At a press brief in Lagos, SERAP Deputy Director Oluwadare Kolawole decried the damning attitude of government officials who refuse to disclose information to SERAP in line with the FOI Act of 2011. He said SERAP still awaits the federal government to make public the management of all resources collected arising from COVID-19 among others.
According to him, the federal government is yet to account for N320 million for the power sector in its audited report for 2016 as well as N26.1 billion and N2.483 billion for health/allied institutions and for education/research institutions, respectively. ‘All these unaccounted amounts must be made known to Nigerians. We don’t want a situation where recovered funds and loots would go back the same way they disappeared. We are saying capital NO to re-looting and mismanagement of public resources especially finance, and other assets,’ he said.
Kolawole said that the Buhari’s administration has made ‘little to no progress’ in the fight against corruption, but that SERAP would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that every public office holder leads by the ethics of transparency and accountability, all geared towards reducing corruption to the barest minimum.
He called on the World Bank to disclose and release information and documents relating to the spending of funds approved and released to Nigeria between 1999 and 2020, to improve access to regular and uninterrupted power supply including copies of supervision reports, periodic reviews and other appropriate reports and the Bank’s role in the spending and disbursement of funds as well as specific projects on which the funds have been spent.
‘We urge the World Bank also to disclose information on the agreement and the mechanism the Bank is putting in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of all funds on electricity projects in Nigeria. More so, they are expected to disclose the terms and conditions of all electricity projects related funds that have been approved for Nigeria between 1999 and 2020,’ SERAP stated.
He challenged the National Assembly to rise above self-interest and collaborate fully with well-meaning individuals and groups in civil society.