N194bn COVID-19 Allocation Missing In Four States

According to findings made by transparency and accountability civil society organizations, BudgIT and Follow The Money International, of the total N209.61 billion COVID-19 allocation made to Enugu, Sokoto, Delta and Kaduna states, only N14.73 billion was disbursed by the states.

Representative of Follow The Money International, Pearl Utuk, presented the findings at a press conference organized by BudgIT in Abuja.

She said, “It was also discovered that funds were mismanaged and distribution of palliatives was largely hijacked by politicians for their party supporters rather than the vulnerable members of the society. This led to the vandalization of COVID-19 palliatives warehouses in the various states.

“On vaccine distribution, the civil society organizations observed that most Primary Health Care Centers responsible for the administration of the vaccine lacked required amenities and most health workers decried poor remuneration and inadequate personal protective equipment.”

Breakdown By States

An allocation of N50.13 billion was earmarked for COVID-19 related spending in Delta State 2020 budget, N4.92 billion was expended, creating a shortfall of N45.21 billion.

In Enugu, the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency was saddled with the responsibility of administering the COVID-19 vaccine in the state but got zero allocation out of the N1.45 billion allocated to it for capital spending in 2020.

This is according to the 2020 Financial Statement of the Office of the Accountant General of Enugu State.

Also, Sokoto received the sum of N1.17 billion as COVID-19 donations from different sources and allocated N525.47 million to COVID-19 related initiatives.

Kaduna State spent just N9.29 billion out of its N156.86 billion COVID-19 budget, with N6.53 billion spent on health and N171.54 billion on social protection.

However, BudgIT called on state governments to establish a dedicated fund for epidemic preparedness and health security as well as stipulated guidelines for accessing such funds.

“State governments should institute mechanisms to incentivise vaccine uptake by citizens. State governments should intensify collaboration with CSOs to improve the sensitization on COVID-19 acceptance.

“In the aftermath of the pandemic, state governments should improve investments in healthcare infrastructure to enhance the capacity of the states to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks”, it said.

Kehinde Ogunyale

Reporting on the data-driven economy, and investigations.

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