Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the Federal Government efficiently track and monitor all spending by federal agencies and state governors to combat coronavirus pandemic in the nation.
SERAP in an open letter sent to President Muhammadu Buhari urged him to urgently instruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor all funds released to the respective federal agencies and state governors to combat the deadly virus.
In the letter dated 20 March 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said measures must be put in place to ensure public funds are well spent.
The letter read in part: “By prioritising transparency and accountability in the spending of funds to combat coronavirus, your government will be taking preventive measures to ensure that the efforts to reduce the spread of the pandemic and promote the health and safety of Nigerians are not compromised by corruption.”
“The proposed increase in spending of funds on COVID-19 means accountability for those funds should be top of your government’s list of priorities if it is to remove opportunities for corruption that can undermine initiatives to stop the spread of COVID-19. Corruption in the spending of funds to combat coronavirus will undermine public trust in any efforts by your government to bring the spread of the pandemic under control, and deny access to basic public health services to Nigerians who need the services most.”
SERAP also expressed concern on the state of facilities at most health centres across the nation and stated that there is a need to quickly upgrade the federal medical facilities in order to effectively combat coronavirus crisis.