Reps. set to begin probe of N83.9bn Covid-19 funds

The House of Representatives is expected to commence investigation into the N83.9 billion appropriated for response to Covid-19 in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

As stipulated in the audit report on the Emergency Response programme, from the N83.9 billion appropriated, a total of N63,797,839,685.42 had been disbursed to implement entities and States at the time of the audit.

According to financial records obtained by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (oAuGF) and transmitted to the Senate and House of Representatives committees on Public Accounts, N16.9 billion was approved in the 2020 budget, N32.5 billion from the Covid-19 Special Account/ Levy and N34.5 billion was to be funded through donations from the public and private sectors.

Of the amount disbursed, N22,163,130,411.00 was for the Presidential Task Force (PTF) chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; N24,634,709,274.42 was for participating Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), while the sum of N17 billion was for State governments.

In the audit report, the oAuGF frowned on the low utilisation of Covid-19 funds allocated to the PTF and the participating agencies for the containment of Covid-19 were either not utilized or had low levels of utilisation as at 30th June 2020.

While the oAuGF picked holes in the area of documentation, it called for the establishment of the National Register for recording all receipts of funds, materials, and other resources made available for the containment of the Covid-19 will require regular update and additional functionalities to be of maximum value.

The oAuGF further observed that “a number of parallel efforts are underway at a national level to support Nigeria’s response to the pandemic. 

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