Redirect $1.5bn for refinery renovation to education, SERAP tells Buhari

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the plan to spend $1,5 billion on the renovation of the Port Harcourt refinery.

SERAP, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the plan should be suspended “until an impact assessment of the spending on critical sectors like education, health, clean water and safe roads, is carried out and widely published.”

The group urged the President to redirect the $1.5 billion to support access to quality education for poor children and to implement the Safe School Initiative.

The statement said, “Spending $1.5bn of public money to repair the refinery at a time of poor economic realities in the country and growing level of public debt would undermine the constitutional oath and commitments to provide public services and goods and increase debt-servicing costs.

“This proposed spending will mean less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare for Nigerians including the elderly, or ensuring access to COVID-19 vaccines and providing poor Nigerians critical reliefs.

“We also urge President Buhari to redirect the $1.5bn to support access to quality education for poor children and to implement the Safe School Initiative in order to ensure a safe school environment for children in the country.

“We will consider pursuing appropriate legal action if the proposed spending is not immediately suspended, as recommended.”

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