The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has urged the Nigerian government to ensure accountability and transparency for all the funds spent in fighting the Coronavirus.
In a statement on Monday, the CISLAC’s Executive Director, Auwal Rafsajani, called for the inclusion of the media and other accountability entities in the utilization of the funds to ensure transparency and accountability.
Mr Rafsanjani noted that the recent composition of the Presidential task force on Covid19 was a welcomed decision.
He, however, lamented that the committee failed to have a balanced representation, especially in the area of inclusion of media and other accountability entities.
“In times of global public emergency, proactive measures to ensure judicious utilisation and distribution of these funds are needed more than ever.
“Inclusion of media and other accountability entities in the Committee would compel transparency and accountability in the utilisation and dissemination of managed funds”.
“At this critical junction, Nigeria cannot afford mismanagement and misappropriation of public and donated funds,” Mr Rafsanjani further noted.
The non-governmental organization warned that diversion of funds will be a betrayal of the trust of Nigerians.
“We on this note have no hesitation to state that diversion or misappropriation of the funds would be tantamount to total betrayal, unpatriotic, unsympathetic and selfishness in the management of the nation’s treasury which are punishable under relevant laws,” the statement noted.
Mr Rafsanjani, therefore, disclosed that the CISLAC would monitor the funds and how it is spent.
“While we monitor with keen interest response of various authorities to commitment of the Federal Government towards alleviating impacts of the newly pronounced lockdown in some states, we demand sincere effort to ensure relief materials and other financial and material assistance are deployed accordingly to citizens irrespective of their socio-economic status with holistic and transparent strategy to adequately appropriate relief package to citizens at the grassroots level.”