Over N2 trillion was received by the Nigerian government as grants for Covid-19 response and N288 billion was disbursed as Covid-19 intervention programmes but only 10 percent of the funds have been accounted for, BudgIT Nigeria revealed on Wednesday.
BudgIT Nigeria, a civic tech organisaiton that strives to raise the standards of transparency, citizen engagement and accountability in public finance, further stated that out of the 36 states in the country, 27 states do not have a breakdown of their Covid-19 expenses, pointing to what could be the mismanagement of funds.
Nigeria’s first Covid-19 case was in February 2020. This eventually led the country to adopting lockdown restrictions that affected the economy. Organisations such as the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID), United Nations Basket Fund, Nigerian Oil and Gas, Development Partners Group for Health and Donations from the Presidential Task Force donated around N99 billion to the government. Most of the donations did not get to the masses. CACOVID is reported by Proshare to have received donations that stood at N21.5bn as of April 7, 2020.
For the donations that got to various distribution centres, the food items were distributed along party lines and loyalty. Other donations were hijacked by politicians and local government chairpersons who distributed the items to friends and relatives or hoarded them.
“The beneficiaries received take home rations valued at N4,200 and made up of 5kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of beans, 500ml vegetable oil, 750ml palm oil, 500mg salt, 15 pieces of eggs, 140gm tomato paste,” a BudgIT report read.
With lack of access to the palliatives when they needed it most, many Nigerians suffered as they were forced to observe lockdown. BudgIT told FIJ that more details about the report would be released on Thursday. The tracking of Covid-19 funds that were diverted for political and personal use would be scrutinized.
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