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Reps to probe alleged mishandling of N183.9bn COVID-19 intervention funds

The House of Representatives has directed the Committee on Public Account to look into claims of improper handling of COVID-19 intervention funding.

The order came from a motion moved on Tuesday, during plenary by Nyampa Zakari, a PDP member from Adamawa State.

Zakari claimed in his motion that numerous ministries and organizations misused the COVID-19 intervention monies during the pandemic.

The parliamentarian said that the federal budget had earmarked more than N183.9 billion for the intervention money, adding that money was donated to the coffers by other international donors

He said that the poor handling would discourage future donations to Nigeria from donor organisations.

“Auditor-General’s report and other sources reveal that significant funds for COVID-19 palliatives and international donations were diverted and unaccounted for by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government.

“Lack of proper accountability of funds allocated for COVID-19 intervention by the federal government and global donor agencies could potentially lead to negative economic ratings and loss of opportunities for Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on the motion, Borno APC member Ahmed Jaha stated that the probe was essential because the House has already been charged with receiving benefits from the COVID-19 intervention money.

Imagine how many schools would have been built if each constituency received N500 million, Mr. Jaha said.

As a result, the House instructed the committee to look into the COVID-19 intervention funds distributed to federal ministries, departments, and agencies between 2020 and 2022 and provide a report within four weeks for additional legislative action.

After being placed to a vote by Speaker Abbas Tajudeen, the resolution was adopted by the House by a unanimous vote.


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