By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to urgently provide information on the total amount of money paid to contractors from the $460 million loan obtained in 2010 from China to fund the apparently failed Abuja Closed-Circuit Television, CCTV.
In a letter based on the strength of Freedom of Information, FoI, SERAP added that the Federal Government has continued to re-pay loan for the contract.
SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in a statement on Sunday, urged Ahmed to “disclose specific details of local contractors, if any, that have received funds from the loan for the CCTV contract, reportedly awarded to China’s ZTE Corporation, as well as the implementation status of the project.”
SERAP also sought: “[the] disclosure of details of repayment for other Chinese loans for allegedly failed projects between 1999–2015, the status of any such projects, and details of local and Chinese contractors involved in the projects.
“We urge you to clarify if the N1.5 billion paid in 2010 for another apparently failed contract to construct the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau is part of another Chinese loan.”
The FoI request dated 25 October 2019 and signed by SERAP reads: “We are concerned that Nigerians are being made to pay for the Chinese loans for apparently failed projects, and for which they have not benefited in any way, shape or form. Transparency in the spending of Chinese loans is good for everyone, as this would help to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy, and contribution of the loans to the development of public goods and services, and the general public interests.”