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Civic-Tech Organisation Raises Concerns Over Lack Of Transparency In Disbursement Of COVID-19 Funds

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A non-governmental civic-tech organisation, Budg IT, has raised concerns over the lack of transparency in the disbursement of funds and palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Budg IT disclosed this in Lagos while launching a report on COVID-19 Fund Management in Nigeria, which reviewed Nigerias current fiscal support and institutional response to the pandemic.

The research contained analyses on COVID-19 response in Nigeria, donations, allocations, disbursements and palliative distribution processes at both the National and Subnational levels.

Budg IT Communications Associate, Iyanu Fatobam, in a release said, that the report reviewed the activities of these agencies as well as the support received by the government from both private and international institutions, including the $5.6 billion received as donations, grants and relief support by the Nigerian government.

According to BudgITs report, information on how several funds were spent are not available to the public including the 2020 Appropriation Act of N500 billion for COVID-19 invention programmes with just N94.4 billion disbursed to seven out of 15 ministries, a contribution of about N99 billion for palliative care and others.

Senior Program Officer at BudgIT Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, added that it is discouraging to discover that not much has been done regarding COVID-19 fund accountability in Nigeria.

However, the NGO recommended that an effective framework of COVID-19 Accountability could be done through citizen inclusion, access to information, establishment of toll-free line, digital and comprehensive social register as well as misinformation control.

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