The founder and chief executive officer, Safewater Energy and Environmental Restoration, SWEER, Dr Thaddaeus Thompson, Monday, called on the Federal Government to ensure proper monitoring of the World Bank loan of $2.1 billion for execution of seven projects in Nigeria.
Thompson made the call while expressing concern over the loan and how it should be implemented transparently for the benefit of the people and economic growth.
He said: “If the World Bank loan of $2.1 billion is well managed, it leads to trust and more support. At this time the government should take a deep breath and plan how the money will be micro-managed: set accountability perimeters, create a special accountability taskforce to oversee implementation and an unbiased reporting system.
“The World Bank repeatedly emphasized and even allotted some of the funds to transparency. This is an indication of concern that corruption, lack of accountability, and auditing could hamper and obstruct the road to success.”
According to him the current administration has continued to earn the confidence of international financial institutions, which serves as positive aspect of the loan, and urged the government to set up an audit system to ensure the projects are well implemented in accordance with best international practices.
He also cautioned that the loan should not be seen as free money that would be misappropriated without much accountability to show to the world on what it was approved for.
“The current administration is gaining trust at the world’s financial communities, which could lead to a boost in confidence and attract foreign investors. My recommendation is that this effort be preserved by those who will be assigned to the distribution and management of the loan. This is very important for the fact that the lenders are watching every step of the way concern the management of the funds.
“The audit system must be revamped as a counter-action to the good news from the World Bank approval of seven major projects. I would also like to mention to those who are celebrating that it is too soon to do so. This is a loan with low interest. It’s not free money.
“This goes to say, who you borrow and waste the money instead of making profit or gain out of it, the paying back hurts. Celebration must commence after checks and balances indicate that the funds received actually doubled or tripled in profit and gains. Nigeria has a track record of clouding the sky or muddying the water in order to make difficult for any effort towards transparency”, he said.
In June 2018 the World Bank approved $2.1bn loan for execution seven projects to support Nigeria’s investment in nutrition, access to electricity, states’ fiscal transparency, polio eradication, women’s economic empowerment, public finance and national statistics and reducing vulnerability to soil erosion
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