Our Role In Spending Abacha Loot Was Limited, World Bank Tells SERAP
President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim has insisted that the global financial institution only played a limited role in the spending of loots recovered from the late Military Head of State, Sani Abacha.
The bank was responding to a letter from economic watchdog, Socio-Economic Rights and Accoundtability Project (SERAP) seeking clarifications on the role played by the bank in the spending of the recovered loots.
The World Bank in a statement said: “The funds were returned directly from Switzerland to the Nigerian Government adding that it is committed to helping Nigeria account for the spending of the loots.
“They were programmed into the national budget and utilized by the Nigerian Government in line with its National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).
“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 Bank 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 the Bank. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to explain the 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 organizations like SERAP are doing is critical to achieve our common goal of improving the lives of people in Nigeria and beyond,” the statement added.