Nigerian Government has said that it spent N30bn, representing 84 per cent of the N36.3bn public funds and donations received to respond to COVID-19 between April, 2020 and July, 2020, leaving the balance of N5.9bn.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, disclosed the COVID-19 fund in response to the Freedom of Information request dated 10 August, 2020 and sent to him by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and Connected Development.
The COVID-19 fund is made up of individual and group donations as well as public funds pooled together for fighting the crisis.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, said in a statement on Sunday that Idris, in his undated response also indicated that “the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 spent N22bn; while 36 states spent N7bn on COVID-19”.
Idris, according to the statement, added that the Nigerian Air Force spent N877m on the deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations; the police spent N500m on personal protective equipment; while N17,865.09 was paid as bank charges.
The groups said, “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.
“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. The N536m 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 Equalisation 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 seven 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.”