Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Reps to investigate utilization of COVID-19 funds by MDAs

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the utilization of funds disbursed to government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for COVID-19 intervention.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Nyampa Zakari (APC-Adamawa) at plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Zakari said that the COVID-19 outbreak was a major pandemic in 2019 that affected families, businesses, and economies worldwide.

He said that the pandemic resulted in loss of lives, jobs, and economic opportunities for millions of homes in different parts of the world including Nigeria.

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The lawmaker said that the pandemic disrupted economic activities, leading to global measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, business closures, and government shutdowns to control the virus’s spread.

Zakari said that the disruption of economic activities necessitated the introduction of various programs, policies, and interventions to boost the economies of families, small businesses, and public corporations.

“Mindful of that the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated several measures including budgetary provisions as well as funding from international donor agencies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens;

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“Also, aware that a sum of N83.9 million was appropriated for the COVID-19 response in the 2020 Appropriation Act as well as another sum of over N100 billion as intervention funds through supplementary budget and international donor agencies.

“The Auditor-General’s report and other sources reveal that significant funds for COVID-19 palliatives and international donations were diverted and unaccounted for by various agencies of government.

“Concerned that the lack of proper accountability of funds allocated for COVID-19 intervention by the Federal Government and global donor agencies could potentially lead to negative economic ratings and loss of opportunities for Nigeria,” he said.

Contributing, Rep. Ahmed Jaha (APC-Borno) said that the amount used to provide intervention was enough to establish standard hospitals in all 360 federal constituencies of the country.

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He said that some of the funds were allegedly used to construct roads that had nothing to do with safeguarding human health at the time.

In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas mandated the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate the expenditure and report back within four weeks for further legislative action. (NAN)


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