The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has tasked the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on transparent distribution and administration of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.
Recall that on Tuesday, Nigeria had taken the delivery of 3.9 million doses of the vaccine.
Issuing a statement on Wednesday, the CISLAC Executive-Director, Auwal Rafsanjani, said the relevant authorities should carry the media and CSOs along in the distribution process.
According to Mr Rafsanjani, the funds provided for in the budget for COVID-19 relief must be judiciously used for the purpose it was earmarked for.
“CISLAC categorically states that the Nigerian government, through the Covid-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF) and its members as the Ministry of Health, its related departments and agencies, must ensure that the distribution and vaccination process is transparent and accountable to the public,” the statement reads.
“The Ministry of Health and NPHCDA need to ensure that representatives of the media and civil society organisations are carried along in the distribution and vaccination process. This should be done in line with the proactive disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 and the doctrine of openness.
“Every corruption scandal, nepotistic behaviour and profiteering of the lifesaving vaccine provided to Nigeria through the UN-sponsored COVAX facility will outrage Nigerians and the international community. Similar scandals in Lebanon led the World Bank to the cancellation of the pandemic relief programmes.
“South American countries saw politicians skipping the line and getting vaccinated ahead of critical workers. This led to their dismissal and even imprisonment in some cases.
“We call on the Government to include credible Civil Society Organisations, the international community representatives and media into the monitoring of the vaccination process.”