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Group Calls On Nigerian Government To Ensure Accountability And Transparency In Management Of Donated Funds

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A coalition of civil society organisations has called on the Nigerian Government to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of over N30 billion naira donated by groups, institutions and well-meaning individuals to help cushion the effect of the lock-down to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

A coalition of the Centre for Democracy and Development, Women Advocacy Research and Documentation Centre, Journalists for Democratic Rights, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, HURIDAC, Green Peoples Environmental Network, Nigerian Human Rights Community, COPEAIDS Foundation, a health-concern rights group, Civil Society Coalition for Mandate Protection, HELP Center for Development, on Thursday said no one should be encouraged to profit from human misery.

The statement reads, “We appreciate all contributors and donors in the emergency funds and materials in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The best that can happen is accountability. No one should be encouraged to profit from the current human misery.

“We urge all government MDAs (ministries, department and agencies) and special task force to uphold procurement and operational standards and policies in awards and payments of services and distribution of materials.”

The coalition however called for strict monitoring and evaluation of the disbursed funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to ensure that it is used for public good.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Forum of Nigeria has also asked government at all levels to ensure that donations made towards tackling COVID-19 are spent judiciously.

The forum, in a statement by Ahmad Daku, its national chairman, lauded the intervention and donations of the government and individuals which it described as “strategic moves to cushion the pains of Nigerians.”

Describing the situation as a matter of life and death, the forum said it is a period when sacrifices have to be made.

It called on the federal government to “fulfill its promise of establishing testing centres to conduct test, provide adequate ventilators and medical supplies at least one in every geo-political regions.”

The Islamic Forum: “The outbreak of COVID-19, popularly known as coronavirus, has brought global economy on its knees as countries fight to keep their citizens alive.

“The Islamic Forum of Nigeria is convinced that there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, at this time. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments to contain and stop the transmission, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Preventive measures are in place to drastically scale up responses on the virus. These include, restricting travelling, limiting exposure to the environment, constant hand wash by all, cleanliness and relevant drugs. Others are stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and follow the directions of health authority.

“The global economy has also been hit by the downturn of economic fundamentals resulting in quantum losses in revenue as well as restructuring of fiscal budgets. Drop in oil price, less demand in energy, losses of jobs, restrictions on traveling, limiting exposure to environment, social interactions etc have negatively affected all streams of development.

“The outpouring of support by wealthy men and organisations to support the fight the against the virus in Nigeria is heartwarming. The Senate pronouncement and other Government appointees to donate part of their monthly salaries are indeed positive gestures.

“However, Organizations are advised to ensure they sensitise and educate their workers on compliance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines and provide requisite facilities and supplies for the prevention of the disease in line with extant guidelines of the NCDC. These efforts must be guided, systematic and professional.

“The Islamic Forum of Nigeria is not unaware that efforts by both the Federal and State Governments to contain the spread of the deadly virus will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens, but it’s a period of sacrifices that must be done as a matter of life and death.

“The Forum calls on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency, to fulfill its promise of establishing testing centres to conduct test, provide adequate ventilators and medical supplies at least one in every geo-political regions.

“Finally, the Muslim Ummah are called upon to demonstrate understanding and support as no action is directed towards any harm. We urge the authorities concerned to judiciously use the donations received by spirited individuals and organizations, and any erring actions on disbursement and accountability should be punished according to the law of the land. As we intensify prayers for Allah’s intervention, we should not forget our valued tradition to support those who are vulnerable within the communities by helping them with whatever possible to manage their affairs.”

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