The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend challenges the National Assembly to comprehensively scrutinize the overall profile of the N500 billion intervention fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic requested by the Federal Government and ensure that the fund reached the desired target.
The party urged the legislature to examine the expenditure layout and put adequate clauses to eliminate diversion, ensure prudence as well as guarantee broad-based transparency in target-specific disbursements across all need areas in the fight against the pandemic.
The PDP in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary, indicated that the request for transparency is predicated on apprehensions in the public space over allegations of fraudulent diversion of fund in the recent disbursement of N20,000 social palliatives, with many Nigerians rejecting the figures put out by the Federal Government.
The party, therefore, urged the National Assembly to demand the federal government to furnish it with details of how the N500 billion would be spent; what amount would be spent on interventions on individuals and families as well as a template that guarantees that the fund gets to the targeted vulnerable Nigerians.
The PDP insisted that such information should also include details of what each state of the federation gets; the parameters for allocations, the monitoring system as well as foolproof measures to plug all loopholes and check fraud.
“The Federal Government needs to place these details before the National Assembly. This money, which is to be mopped up from various special government accounts, belongs to Nigerians. As such, the National Assembly must ensure that it is fully utilised for their wellbeing,” PDP declared.
The PDP, therefore, urged the National Assembly to instill checks and balances by providing that the implementation must involve trusted and transparent eminent Nigerians from the private sector to further guarantee accountability and overall confidence of Nigerians in the scheme.
Furthermore, the PDP called on the National Assembly to direct a quick investigation into allegations of fraudulent diversion of palliative money in the cash disbursement of N20,000 to some Nigerians, by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk.