A rights organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned the World Bank President, Mr. David Malpass, seeking release of archival records and documents relating to spendings on all approved funds to improve access to electricity in Nigeria between 1999 and 2020.
In the petition dated February 6, 2021, and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP is requesting information on the World Bank’s role in the implementation of any funded electricity projects, and to identify and name any executed projects, and Nigerian officials, ministries, departments and agencies involved in the execution of such projects.
The organisation said its request, which was in line with the bank’s Access to Information Policy, was sequel to the recent approval of $500 million by its Board of Directors “to help boost access to electricity in Nigeria and improve the performance of the electricity distribution companies in the country.”
It said there’s a need for the bank to explain the rationale behind such approval of humongous amount to implement electricity projects in the country, amidst reports of widespread and systemic corruption in the sector, as well as the failure of authorities to enforce a court judgement ordering the release of payment details to alleged corrupt electricity contractors who failed to execute any projects.
While noting that the $500 million is part of the over one billion dollars available to Nigeria under the project titled: “Nigeria Distribution Sector Recovery Program”, SERAP said there is public interest in Nigerians knowing about the Bank’s supervisory role and specifically its involvement in the implementation of electricity projects, which it has so far funded.