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Delta, Enugu, Sokoto, Kaduna Spent N14.73bn On Covid-19—BudgiT

Ebuka Daniel

Out of the N209.61bn allocated for COVID-19 related spending across four states in the country, only N14.73bn was disbursed, leading to a spending shortfall of N194.89bn.

A transparency and accountability civic society organization, BudgIT has disclosed the figure on Thursday in Abuja

The four states are Delta, Enugu, Sokoto and Kaduna.

This is according to findings made by BudgIT alongside other CSOs.

A representative of Follow The Money International, one of the CSOs, Pearl Utuk presented the findings at a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday.

She said that while an allocation of N50.13bn was earmarked for Covid19 related spending in Delta State 2020 budget, only N4.92bn was expended, creating a shortfall of N41.21bn.

“In the same light, the Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the agency saddled with the responsibility of administering the Covid-19 vaccine in the state, got zero out of the N1.45bn allocated to it for capital spending in 2020 according to the 2020 Financial Statement of the Office of the Accountant General of Enugu State.

“Sokoto received the sum of N1.17bn as Covid-19 donations from different sources and allocated N525.47m to Covid-19 related initiatives.
“In the same light, Kaduna state spent just N9.29bn out of its N156.86bn Covid-19 budget, with N6.53bn spent on health and N171.54m on social protection,” she added.

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.

According to Utuk, this led to the vandalization of Covid-19 palliatives warehouses in the various states.

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

In light of its observations, 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 incentivize 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 added.

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