A consortium of anti-corruption organisations under the aegis of Upright for Nigeria, Stand Against Corruption campaign has called on the Federal and state governments to immediately publish names of all beneficiaries of its palliatives.
The coalition says this will ensure transparency in the distribution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) palliatives.
The consortium which includes ActionAid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development and the Centre for Communication and Social Impact made the call in a statement signed by Ene Obi, Country Director of ActionAid.
They also demanded the 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 programs across the country.
Obi 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.
Obi appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering an increase in the number of beneficiaries on the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) register from 2.5 million to 3.5 million.
The consortium claimed there was 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.
It noted that following the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Federal Government was forced to order a lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
However, the consortium warned that the 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.
Ene said: “The 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.
“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.”