‘We spent N31bn COVID-19 Donations, FG replies groups

boss mustafa briefing press on covid-19 donation

Of the N36.3 billion received in public funds and Covid-19 donations to response federal government has said it spent N30.5 billion between April 1 and July 31.

That leaves a balance of N5.9 billion.

The disclosure is the outcome of a Freedom of Information request passed on the accountant-general of the federation, Ahmed Idris. The request asked for details of spending on Covid-19 response.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Connected Development (CODE) sent a FOI request.

Both have replied Idris on September 4, noting the presidential task force on Covid-19 spent N22 billion. Also, that 36 states spent N7 billion to support Covid-19 initiatives.

In a statement, SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare and CODE’s Hamzat Lawal, said, “We also note that the Nigerian Air Force N877 million, Nigeria Police Force spent N500 million on protective gear and another N17,865.09 was paid as bank charges.”

But, the documents did not contain “other significant details as indicated in the FOI request”, the groups said.

The FOI request asked for a breakdown of the number of Nigerians who “directly or indirectly have benefited from the spending. And, also asked for details on plans to spend the balance of N5.9 billion in the COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.”

“It is refreshing to note that 115 ordinary Nigerians donated between N1 and N100 to support the authorities’ efforts to fight COVID-19. Despite the fact that it is the country’s poorest and most disadvantaged sectors of the population that continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Generally, issues around disbursement of COVID-19 donations in the country generate a lot of discourse.

Meanwhile, beyond the donation, FG developed intervention funds to cushion the negative effects of the pandemic. Still, many projects by the government are to limit the suffering of Nigerians through interventions.

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