“Only 10% of over N2 trillion COVID19 funds have been accounted for”
Only 10% of the over N2 trillion COVID grants Nigeria received have been accounted for, BudgIT, a civic-tech organisation leading the advocacy for transparency and accountability has said.
“Nigeria has received over N2 trillion as grants for COVID-19 response N288 billion for intervention programmes, but ONLY 10% of these funds have been accounted for,” BudgIT tweeted on Wednesday.
“Right now, 27 states do not have a breakdown of their COVID-19 expenses,” it added.
BudgIT’s claim is one of the takeaways of its report on the management of the COVID-19 fund in Nigeria.
The research reviewed the fiscal support, palliative analysis and the institutional response to the pandemic.
“We also analysed data on COVID-19 response in Nigeria, including donations, allocations, disbursements and palliative distribution processes at both the National and Subnational levels,” BudgIT said in a statement.
The civic-tech company said the federal government has disbursed N288bn from the N500bn set aside for COVID-19 intervention programmes through its Economic Sustainability Plan.
As of the time of the report, comprehensive details of disbursed funds have not been published on the Open Treasury platform.
“This further establishes our concerns about the lack of a proper framework for COVID19 fund accountability in Nigeria,” it added in the statement.
Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, Senior Programme Officer, BudgIT, said it is “discouraging to discover that not much has been done regarding COVID-19 fund accountability in Nigeria.”
“To this end, we are committed to partnering with agencies like the ICPC and others, to ensure a proper framework for probing COVID-19 response issues,” Bolarinwa said.
BudgIT also noted that the continuous mismanagement of palliative items and funds earmarked for the COVID-19 response has created a wider gap between the rich and the poor where the vulnerable and marginalised are denied access to the palliative items that rightfully belong to them.
“Using six (6) states – Niger, Lagos, Kano, Ogun, Enugu and Rivers – as case studies, our research further reveals that many people vehemently disagreed with the government’s method of palliative distribution in their communities as they could not access any of the distributed palliative items, especially to the vulnerable,” it said.
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