No further information on Abacha’s loot spendings, says World Bank

The World Bank has told Lagos based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that it has no additional information on projects executed with recovered stolen public funds by the late General Sani Abacha.

World Bank’s remark was contained in a response to SERAP’s request of February 2016 for additional information on how Abacha’s loot was spent.

The rights group has sent an open letter to the Bank’s President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, requesting him to use his “good offices and leadership position to urgently address the public perception that the World Bank is seeking to distance itself from responsibility over alleged mismanagement in the spending of recovered Abacha loot”.

Specifically, the organization asked Dr. Kim to “establish a Special Inspection Panel on Nigeria to visit locations across the country to verify whether or not the projects reportedly executed by the Nigerian government with the funds were actually executed.”

In the letter dated April 28, 2017 and signed by its deputy director Timothy Adewale, SERAP expressed concerns that “the apparent lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of recovered Abacha loot and the fact that the Bank has now come to the conclusion that it has no more information to provide on the status of the projects reportedly executed with the funds have impacted negatively on the communities across the country who are victims of corruption.

But in a response to the letter, which was made available to The Guardian yesterday, the World Bank Access to Information Appeal Committee said, “they have thoroughly searched their records and databases but have not been able to locate any additional information that is responsive to the request beyond what they have already shared with SERAP and therefore were unable to fulfill the request.’’


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