Thursday, 13 July 2017

Why World Bank Couldn’t Audit Abacha’s Loot Under Obasanjo

The World Bank says it assumed a constrained part in the spending of plunders recuperated from Sani Abacha, Nigeria's military head of state from 1993 to 1998. 
The bank expressed that it couldn't completely review how the cash was spent, because of the structure of the program received by the legislature at the time. 

In a letter to Socio-Economic Rights and Accoundtability Project (SERAP), the World Bank said the recuperated plunder were directed into Nigeria's financial plan in accordance with Olusegun Obasanjo's National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).

“The funds were returned directly from Switzerland to the Nigerian government and committed to helping Nigeria account for the spending of the loot,” World Bank said.
“They were programmed into the national budget and utilised by the Nigerian Government in line with its National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).”
The bank explained that the structure of the programme did not allow for the comprehensive audits like the bank would normally do with its own funded projects.
“As agreed with the Nigerian and Swiss governments, the Bank’s role was limited to carrying out an ex-post analysis on their use with a particular focus on their contribution to the NEEDS.
“This was done as part of the public expenditure review carried out jointly by Nigerian government and the WorldBank under the Country Partnership Strategy. The monitoring and analysis of repatriated funds was undertaken at two levels through: (1) the Bank-led analysis of general budget expenditure trends, and (2) a budget monitoring survey which was a limited field survey of sample projects funded under the budget program and randomly selected from a list of projects provided by the government.
“The budget monitoring survey was conducted by joint teams representing both government agencies and Nigerian civil society organizations. The Bank’s role in this particular case was limited by the design and different from the type of comprehensive audits we can do when funds are spent in projects supported by us. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to explain World Bank’s role in this matter in the near future.
“We do share your deep commitment to fighting corruption and promoting transparency and accountability. These are key ingredients to successful development and economic well-being.
“We believe that the work organisations like SERAP are doing is critical to achieve our common goal of improving the lives of people in Nigeria and beyond.”

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