ENSURING TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES BEING COMMITTED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE ACTIVITIES BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS OF NIGERIA
DATE: MONDAY 6TH APRIL, 2020
We are a group of Civil Society Organisations working to support government’s anti-corruption efforts by monitoring the implementation of the Home Grown School Feeding programme (HGSFP) in Ogun and Kaduna States. Our interventions in the past three years have contributed immensely to the progress recorded so far in the different aspects of the programme including model development and implementation, food supply and distribution, fund allocation/effective resource use (food quantity/quality), community awareness, participation and ownership, monitoring systems, collaboration and general administration of the HGSFP.
On 29th March, 2020, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made a national broadcast regarding the government’s response to the global pandemic – COVID-19. In the speech of Mr. President, he stated that government has “…provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.” He also stated: “…although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding programme during this period…”
We want to use this medium to applaud the steps that government at different levels have taken so far in terms of technical, financial and social response. We note that the earmarking of an initial sum of fifteen billion Naira (N15,000,000,000) to support the fight against the Corona Virus pandemic is a significant contribution that puts Nigeria on the map of countries that are giving the pandemic the serious attention that it deserves. However, it is important to put in place accountability structures and measures that will ensure that the full value of this significant investment is realized.
It is with this background that we call on the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, and all the State Governors, their cabinet members and the entire government architecture to re-commit themselves to the fight against corruption even as we battle the Corona Virus pandemic.
The role of citizens in the effective management of State affairs cannot be over-emphasized; therefore the current global pandemic calls for the involvement of all stakeholders in shaping and finding solutions. In view of this, we have resolved to:
We call on government at different levels to see this support as action for the common good of the Nigerian people and therefore be receptive to the participation of Civil Society Organisations in the National, State and Local Government level committees set up to plan and implement the COVID-19 related interventions.