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Investigation into the utilization of COVID-19 funds promised by House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has made a resolution to investigate the utilization of funds allocated to government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) for COVID-19 intervention.

This decision came after the adoption of a motion by Rep. Nyampa Zakari (APC-Adamawa) during Tuesday’s plenary session.

In presenting the motion, Zakari emphasized the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, which affected various domain including families, businesses, and economies worldwide, including Nigeria. He highlighted the loss of lives, jobs, and economic opportunities caused by the pandemic, leading to global measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, business closures, and government shutdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

Zakari pointed out that these economic disruptions necessitated the implementation of various programs, policies, and interventions to support families, small businesses, and public corporations. The Federal Government of Nigeria took several measures, including budgetary provisions and funding from international donor agencies, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on citizens.

However, Zakari expressed his concern over reports from the Auditor-General and other sources indicating the diversion and lack of accountability for significant funds allocated for COVID-19 palliatives and international donations by various government agencies. He stressed that the lack of proper financial transparency and accountability could have negative consequences for Nigeria’s economic ratings and opportunities.

During the discussion, Rep. Ahmed Jaha (APC-Borno) remarked that the amount of funds used for interventions could have been sufficient to establish standard hospitals in all 360 federal constituencies of the country. He raised concerns about allegations that some of the funds were misused for road construction projects unrelated to safeguarding public health during that period of time.

In response, the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, instructed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct an investigation into the expenditure and report their findings within four weeks for further legislative action.

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