Request to the CBN governor

15 January 2012

Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Central Bank of Nigeria,
Plot 33, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Way
Central Business District,Cadastral Zone,

Dear Sir:

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2011:  Request to provide documents relating to corruption in the subsidy system for petition to the EFCC

I am writing to you on behalf of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), to request you to use your good offices to provide documents on the systemic corruption in the subsidy system to enable our organization to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in order for suspected perpetrators of corruption in the system to be effectively brought to justice.

This request is brought pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.

SERAP is a human rights non-governmental organization whose mandate includes the promotion and securing the enforcement of the socio-economic rights of Nigerians, and campaign for transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors through human rights.

We are seriously concerned that while N250 billion was allocated for fuel ‘subsidy in 2011, by the end of October 2011, over N1.3 trillion has been spent.  We have information to the effect that the subsidy claim rose to 1.5 trillion by December 2011.

Having found that no supplementary appropriation was submitted to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan, we would be grateful for information on who authorised the release of the sum N1.26 trillion, which was paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria under your management.

We welcome your publicly expressed position that those involved in the fuel subsidy scam to the detriment of millions of Nigerians should be arrested and prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.

Specifically, you reportedly stated that, “Even though there are proper documentation, it is fraught with fraud. I studied the papers presented to PPPRA. And I was surprised that on some days over 10 vessels are said to have discharged cargo in Lagos on the same day-clearly the same officers stamping and “verifying” that the vessels were seen. Is it really realistic that on the same day 13-15 vessels can discharge in Lagos?”

We agree with you that this raises serious suspicion of corruption in the fuel subsidy system. We believe that this situation is a major contributory factor for the situation of extreme poverty in the country, which in itself is a violation of human dignity, inhibiting the full and effective enjoyment of human rights.

This request is made to obtain the necessary documents for us to swiftly send a petition to the EFCC to achieve the objectives which you have articulated for many years, that is, to bring about the effective prosecution of suspected perpetrators of the subsidy scam.

If the problems in the fuel subsidy system are not fully and urgently addressed and suspected perpetrators not prosecuted, this will continue to have a devastating effect on investment in the oil and gas sector while also discouraging the building of refineries, thus making Nigeria perpetual importer on petrol.

We would therefore be grateful if the requested documents are sent to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, as required by the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours sincerely,

Adetokunbo Mumuni
Executive Director

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