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Auditor-General of the Federation Ignores FOIA Request on ₦5.4 Trillion IMF Loan

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Office of Auditor-General of the Federation Ignores WAW's FOIA Requests on ₦5.4 Trillion IMF Loan

The Federal Government has ignored a Freedom Of Information request regarding how it spent a $3.4 billion IMF loan approved in 2020.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011 signed into law by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, West Africa Weekly wrote to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (OAuGF) in January to provide the public with documents showing the expenditure of the $3.4 billion (₦5.4 trillion) IMF loan as approved on 28th of April 2020.

On January 6th, 2024, WAW wrote to the OAuGF in a letter titled: FOIA REQUEST TO OBTAIN AND INSPECT DOCUMENTS SHOWING THE MOVEMENT AND SPENDING OF THE US$ 3.4 BILLION (₦4,807,954,477,958.20) COVID-19 RELIEF LOAN AS OBTAINED FROM THE IMF, STARTING APRIL 28, 2020. This request, which had a statutory response period of 7 working days was completely ignored by OAuGF in breach of the law.

In part, the letter reads: Under the Freedom of Information Act (2011), I would like to obtain and inspect a copy of the following records below:

This request comprises thorough details of receive and disbursement of the $3.4BILLION (N4,807,954,477,958.20) COVID-19 Relief Loan as obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), starting Tuesday, April 28, 2020, from the Capital, 36 State Governments and 744 Local Government Areas of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Also, comprehensive detailed documents that show how the government has spread the repayment plan from 2023 to 2027.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued Bola Tinubu and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi to explain how the IMF loan is ‘missing’ as alleged. In suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/269/2024 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the social advovacy organisation is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to ensure the effective prosecution of anyone suspected to be responsible for the alleged mismanagement and diversion of the $3.4 billion IMF loan obtained by Nigeria to finance the budget and respond to the COVID- 19 pandemic.”
It will be recalled that the IMF approved the disbursement of the loan for emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to support the Federal government’s efforts in addressing the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 shock and the sharp fall in oil prices due to corruption and insecurity.

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