Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to probe 316 duplicated projects thay appear in the 2021 budget.
SERAP issued a statement making this request for investigations on Sunday through its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare. The civil group demands that President Buhari direct the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to execute the investigations.
SERAP wants the Minister to “investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”
SERAP insists an investigation must establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen under the guise of implementing mysterious projects.
The organisation wants anyone suspected of being responsible to face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”
According to SERAP, the misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government must ensure respect for the human rights of Nigerians through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.
It also expressed concern that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs.
Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsiveness to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”