COVID-19: NGO calls for transparency in funds management

Connected Development (CODE), a non-governmental organisation, has called on stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability in managing funds for COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation notes that accountability would enable government to mobilise funds to support them and fight the pandemic further.

Dr Onyekachi Onuoha, Project Manager of CODE, said this when he led a team from the organisation on advocacy visit to key stakeholders in Minna on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CODE, founded in 2012 was being supported by Oxfam, with a mission to empower marginalised communities in Africa and rebuild trust between the citizens and the government.

Onuoha said the visit was to rebuild trust of the citizens on governance to ensure that there was adequate transparency and accountability in the management and administration of funds.

He said that the project was being implemented in Lagos State, Ondo State, Kwara, Akwa-Ibom, Enugu State and Niger to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of funds and rule of law in the process of managing COVID19 pandemic.

“By making public all these information will help rebuild citizens’ trust on government where there has been distrust.

“This will make citizens to believe and have confidence in what government is doing and running an open government partnership will enable the state to access more funds from World Bank to fight COVID19,” he said.

Responding, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the Niger government and Chairman, state Task Force on COVID-19, said that the government had been operating an open-door policy.

Matane said that during the COVID19 lockdown, the state distributed palliative to residents, opened trust fund account where donations were made by individuals and prominent persons and all donations were monitored by government and the media.

“All this is to ensure transparency in the process, I was also invited to the state House of Assembly to defend how COVID-19 funds were spent and the members took an oversight function where donations of palliative were kept,” he said.

NAN reports that the team also met with Mrs Mary Noel-Berje, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello, Commissioners of Finance, Information and Planning Commission as well as the state Director-General of SDGs.(NAN)