THE Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has tasked the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, to release details of COVID-19 palliative consignments received by their various states.
This is coming in reaction to a statement issued by the NGF refuting reports on alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives by states in warehouses.
However, in a statement signed by the Executive Director, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, the group urged the Chairman of NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to provide documents on COVID-19 palliatives so far received by State governors and made public to Nigerians.
Also ANEEJ called on the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to publish records of all COVID-19 palliatives distributed to States on its website and made available to Nigerians for transparency and accountability purposes.
According to the ANEEJ with such records and data, Nigerians would be able to appreciate how the Governors have managed the palliatives they have received and distributed to their citizens.
The statement reads in part, “We are urging Dr Kayode Fayemi as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum with a rich background of Civil Society activism as well as rich history and reputation in the area of good governance, to carry out a thorough scrutiny of what each state received from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 palliative that were given to the states in April-May vide the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari during his nationwide broadcast in April, 2020.
“When did each state receive the palliatives and what exactly did they receive? Who received it on their behalf? Where is the record of those who benefited from them in states where the Governors claimed they have distributed a first batch and storing some awaiting a spike in Covid-19 pandemic?”
“With such records and data Nigerians would be able to appreciate how the Governors managed the palliatives that they received on behalf of poor citizens of their States.”
The statement alluding to the fact of NGF’s counsel on crossing checking facts correctly by the public queried that such facts were not made available and accessible by Nigerians in the spirit of transparency and accountability, so the NGF should not frown on the reports churned out on the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives by State Governors.
The statement also called on Fayemi to work with Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, to reach out and collaborate with his colleagues in the 36 States to come up with reliable data and information on the state of COVID-19 palliatives by putting it in the right perspective.
However, ANEEJ pointed out that Nigerians are not satisfied with the explanation contained in the statement issued by the NGF on Monday over the allegations of hoarding COVID-19 palliatives and stalling the distribution process, hence increasing hardship among Nigerians.
“We strongly believe that a mere denial that ‘No State has hoarded any palliative’ without concrete data to support such claims would further pith the Governors against the people as Nigerians are now wiser if lessons from the EndSARS protests is anything to go by.
“We also want the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and other MDAs involved in the COVID-19 procurements in the country to ensure that all palliatives purchased for the poor are receipted in line with the conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities”, it added.