By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, ActionAid Nigeria, AAN, Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, and Centre for Communication and Social Impact, CCSI, under the auspices of Upright For Nigeria and Stand Against Corruption campaign, Wednesday, called on the Federal and State Governments to publish names of palliative beneficiaries.
The call was contained a statement issued and signed by Country Director, AAN, Ene Obi, whose organization is the lead organization making the demand.
The group emphasized need for government to differentiate between the Social Investment Programme (SIP) including the CCT and the COVID-19 emergency relief fund, and make beneficiaries public for transparency sake.
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According to the group information imbalance between governments and citizens on the CCT which started in 2018 and other palliative measures specifically donated for COVID-19 may lead to corruption.
The statement reads in part, “The Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, is an ongoing government initiative to take care of the poorest of the poor in the country. We must therefore not confuse the CCT with the COVID-19 palliative funds. The government must ensure that the two are separated and Nigerians know exactly what they are benefiting from.
“The President’s directive for an increase in the number of beneficiaries on the Conditional Cash Transfer(CCT) register from 2.5 million to 3.5 million is a welcomed development, but there is currently a disconnect and information imbalance between the governments and citizens on the Social Investment Programme (SIP) including the CCT and the COVID-19 emergency relief fund.
“Since February 27, 2020, when the first COVID-19 case came into Nigeria, there have been several donations from governments and corporate bodies towards combating the pandemic and alleviating the sufferings which would be occasioned by a nationwide lockdown.
“The consortium demands that all governments must disclose to the citizens the value of money received for the COVID-19 donations and publish the list of beneficiaries of the palliative measures.
“Establish a toll-free line for citizens to call and report any act of corruption regarding the palliative distribution. Government should ensure the law is applied where any official is found to be corrupt in the management of the COVID-19 palliative funds.”
Meanwhile, the group commended the Federal and State governments for their immediate response to the needs of the citizens and called for more action towards reaching Nigerians who have been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.
However, the group also pointed out that the various task forces on COVID-19 inaugurated by the Federal and State governments do not include CSOs, hence demanded for inclusion of CSOs in the task force.
“Demand inclusion of citizens and members of the civil society in the Federal and State Government Task Force Committees on the implementation of the emergency palliative programmes across the country.
“Inclusion of citizens’ group made up of notable members of communities like traditional or religious leaders and Ward Committees to be part of the committee and task force for implementation”, it added.
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