This is in response to a letter by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which asked the government to provide a breakdown of how it spent the N36.3 billion donations and fund received to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, N30.5 billion was spent within the said date and it represents 84 per cent of the total sum.
A further breakdown of the expenditure reveals that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 spent N22 billion while the 36 states spent a total of N7 billion.
Others include the Nigerian Air Force which spent N877 million for the deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations; the Nigeria Police Force spent N500 million on Personal Protective Equipment while about N18,000 was paid as bank charges.
But SERAP alleged that the document submitted does not contain other significant details as indicated in their Freedom of Information request, including details and breakdown of the number of Nigerians who directly or indirectly have benefited from the spending, and details on plans to spend the balance of N5.9 billion in the COVID-19 eradication support accounts.
See Full Statement Below:
‘How we spent N31bn in 4 months to fight COVID-19’, FG replies SERAP, CODE
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed that it “spent N30,540,563,571.09, representing 84% of the N36.3 billion public funds and donations received to respond to COVID-19 between 1st April 2020 and 31st July 2020, leaving the balance of N5.9 billion.”
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris stated this in response to the Freedom of Information request dated 10 August 2020 and sent to him by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Connected Development (CODE).
In the reply to Mr Idris dated 4th September 2020, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare and CODE Chief Executive Hamzat Lawal, the organizations said: “We note among others that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 spent N22 billion, and 36 states spent N7 billion to support their COVID-19 initiatives.”
The groups said: “We also note that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spent N877 million for the deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations; while the Nigeria Police spent N500 million on personal protective equipment. N17,865.09 was paid as bank charges.”
The reply by the groups, read in part: “However, we also note that the documents sent to us do not contain other significant details as indicated in our FoI request dated 10 August 2020, including details and breakdown of the number of Nigerians who directly or indirectly have benefited from the spending, and 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.”
“This is a huge lesson for public officials and politicians about the idea of public service to one’s country. It also sends a powerful message about the need for politicians to see public office as an opportunity to serve and give something back to the country, and not a place to mismanage, steal or divert the people’s commonwealth into private pockets for personal benefits.”
“We welcome your demonstrated commitment to transparency and accountability, and hope other public officials and institutions would emulate and learn from the good example you have shown by honouring and respecting FOI Act as a matter of routine and practice.”
“We would therefore be grateful to receive more specific details and additional information on the spending of N34.4bn between April and July, and details on plans to spend the balance of the balance of N5.9 billion in the COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.”
“Of the N36.3bn public funds and donations received, N1.4bn came from Nigerians and companies through accounts at the First Bank; Access Bank; GTB, Zenith, and UBA, while N536m donations were made through the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN]. The N536 donations comprise of N89m and N279m from the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.”
“In addition, China General Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria donated N48m; the Petroleum Equalization Management Board gave N50m while the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board donated N70m.”
“We would be grateful if the requested details and additional information are provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP and CODE shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to compel you to comply with our request.”
“We are writing to acknowledge receipt of the undated letter signed on your behalf by Mrs Odanwu Chizoba, from the Office of Accountant General of the Federation, but received 2nd September, 2020, on the above subject-matter in which the Federal Government provided some information on inflows and outflows of COVID-19 funds, drawn from COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts. We appreciate your co-operation in this regard.”
Specifically, the groups are asking Mr Idris to provide to them with the following:
Details and breakdown of where the N34.4bn public funds from the Federal Government came from, and whether or not the money was duly appropriated by the National Assembly;
Details of specific projects and activities on which the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has spent the N22.16bn, which represents 72% of the money spent, including how the spending has directly or indirectly benefited Nigerians, as well as details of names of any such beneficiaries;
Details and breakdown of money, if any, spent to provide personal protective equipment to Nigerian doctors and medical workers who are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19;
Details and breakdown of the N7bn given to 36 states, and the specific amount of money collected by each state. This money represents 23% of the total amount spent within 4 months;
Details and breakdown of the N877m [2.9% of the money] spent by the Nigerian Air Force for deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations, as well as the nature of any such operations;
Details and breakdown of the N500m [1.6% of the money] spent by the Nigeria Police on personal protective equipment;
“The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation should also take steps to approach and request from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police Force, and the 36 states any of the details highlighted above, if the information is not held by your Office, in line with the provisions of the FoI Act.”
“Under the FoI Act, other public institution or institutions that may be holding the requested information are obligated to provide the information.”
“Please accept the expression of our highest consideration. Thanking you in advance of your urgent attention to the matter.”
SERAP Deputy Director
Nigeria Records 221 New COVID-19 Cases
Nigeria has recorded 221 new COVID-19 cases.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Friday night.
Of the new cases, 59 were recorded in Lagos, 46 in Abia, 22 in the FCT, 20 in Gombe, 17 in Plateau, 11 in Rivers, seven in Bauchi, six in Benue, Ekiti and Imo, four in Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, three each in Ogun and Osun and one each in Bayelsa, Edo and Kano.
The new cases bring the total infections in the country to 56,956.
48,305 have recovered and been discharged while 1,094 have unfortunately died.
Hon. Hamidu Sajo Lekki Gets Double Honour Awards
Hon. Hamidu Sajo Lekki the Member representing Yola north state constituency in Adamawa state house of Assembly Hon. Hamidu Sajo Lekki has been Honoured with Double award By G4 Media International
Alhaji Musa Yaro Speaking through Mr. Emmanuel Stephen the Leader of G4 media international and The official partner of the institute of criminal justice and criminology administration, the first criminal reform institute in Sub – Sahara Africa .
He described the nomination of Hon. Hamidu Sajo as a reward for services and national impact.
Alhaji Musa Yaro the Market chief of Jimeta ultra modern market in Yola north local government, describes the performance of Hon Sajo as equal to none as a member representing Yola north.
Alhaji Musa Yaro
Alhaji Musa Yaro said the nomination came as double Honour and additional value to a man of excellence and good representative of the good people of Yola north in the state Assembly.
He Said the Honour which has recognized the Best Legislator and voice of the Masses and coming from G4 media international and also followed by the Institute of Criminal justice and criminology administration.
“The double honour is given to an active performer of our today’s Democratic action member in the House who deserved this award at this moment of our political differences”,
Presenting the letter in Yola the Chairman G4 media international Emmanuel Stephen described Hon. Soja as a man worth and fits for the Double Award.
The Students , youths and good people of Yola north described Hon. Soja Lekki as a man with the love of his people.
Army Arrests Bandits, Recovers Arms, Frees Kidnapped Victims in Zamfara, Katsina
Suspected bandits and other criminals specialized in killing and kidnapping Nigerians have been arrested by troops of the Operation Sahel Sanity, a component of the Nigerian Army operating in the North-West zone.
This was revealed by the acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier-General Bernard Onywuko, in a statement on Friday.
The statement said the troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have stepped up their quest to rout remnants of bandits and other criminal elements in the North West zone of the country.
It says the gallant troops have relentlessly redoubled their efforts in this regard recording more successes against the bandits and their collaborators across the Theatre.
“On 12 September 2020, troops deployed at Dandume while on patrol rescued 2 young girls kidnapped by bandits at Dandume LGA in Katsina State. The girls were rescued after a hot pursuit by the troops which forced the bandits to abandon their victims escaping troops’ wrath by the skin of their teeth. The victims who were reportedly kidnapped on 18 August 2020 have been reunited with their families”.
According to the statement, on 13 September 2020, following credible information, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Wuya recovered one AK-47 Rifle buried in a surgacane farm at Yarsabiya village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State. This prompted further search of the general area in anticipation of more similar recoveries. Relatedly, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru responded to a distress call and foiled a planned armed bandits attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State. The troops immediately mobilized and engaged the marauding bandits in a shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray and in the process abandoned 3 motorcycles which were recovered by the gallant troops.
Similarly, on 16 September 2020, troops deployed at Magami acting on a tip off arrested one Mr Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint. The suspect was identified by troops to be a member of a notorious bandit gang that recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara State. Additionally, troops at Dangulbi also acting on credible intelligence arrested a suspected bandit named Basharu in a green tinted Golf III wagon car. Suspect have been on wanted list of bandits terrorizing locals in the general area.
Furthermore, on 16 September 2020, troops on routine patrol encountered armed bandits at Baga Buzu in Zamfara State. The cowardly criminals engaged the troops from afar, but the troops responded with superior fire power forcing the bandits to withdraw in disarray into the nearby forest with gunshot injuries as traces of blood were seen on their escape route. Nevertheless, during exploitation, troops recovered one AK-47 Rifle, 2 motorcycles, and one empty AK 47 Rifle magazine abandoned by the escaping criminals. Similarly, troops on fighting patrol encountered and pursued unconfirmed number of bandits on motorcycles at Kaiga Malamai. During the incident, the bandits abandoned 3 motorcycles and fled into the bushes.
The Army General said on 16 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops location. The suspect claimed to be a native of Sabon Layi village in Faskari LGA, but investigation revealed that his claims were false as the villagers denied knowing him. Similarly, following credible information, troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State, who is reported to be engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
Additionally, on 17 September 2020, troops deployed in Faskari responding to a distress call rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area. This was as a result of actionable information that bandits dressed in military camouflage uniforms were sighted with kidnapped victims, the troops responded quickly and made contact with the bandits forcing them to abandon the victims as they fled into the bushes. In the same vain, troops while on patrol at Chabas Chabas, swiftly responded to a distress call and rescued a Canter truck driver, 11 women and children who were on their way to Batsari Market but were blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi road. Also on 17 September 2020 troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim on a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village in Dansadau, Maru LGA of Zamfara state with one Pump Action rifle and 3 live cartridges carefully concealed in a bag. All arrested suspects are in custody understanding preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting authorities for further action.
Consequently, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for their continuous successes and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest zone is rid of all criminal elements. While the good people of the Northwest are once again assured of troops commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the conduct of their operations.
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