Nigeria’s leading civil society groups have deployed 1,000 monitors to evaluate the processes and impact of the various palliatives across the country.
NGOs deploy 1,000 volunteers to monitor COVID-19 palliatives
From Atiku Sarki, Abuja
The groups said the deployment was aimed at ensuring transparency in the distribution process and to ensure the measures reach the end users.
Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, in collaboration with Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARD-C) deployed the monitors last weekend across nine focal states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
They were also mandated to monitor and evaluate the COVID-19 palliatives and utilization of the various intervention funds.
The nation had seen a string of intervention funds ranging from private donations to local and international funds estimated to be in billions of Naira in cash and other materials, including food and medicare.
The civil right groups said that despite the generous donations and on-going disbursements, there has been no transparency framework at the federal and state levels on fund utilisation fuelling a public mill of rumours.
As at last week, funds raised at home, stood at N25.8 billion. Apart from the N21 billion European Union (EU) support and donations material for China, the groups said public knowledge on the expenditure of COVID-19 donations is critical to sustainable development.
A joint statement signed in Lagos by HEDA’s chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju and his WARD-C counterpart, Dr. Abiola Akiode-Afolabi, said the volunteers would produce a comprehensive report covering strategic areas using jointly developed questionnaire tools designed to meet global best practices.
Respondents in the selected states of Ogun, Enugu, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Lagos, Borno, Kano and Kaduna States as well as the FCT, Abuja are critical stakeholders including but not limited to health workers.
The monitors include women, People Living With Disabilities, (PLWD) and media practitioners.
They observed that there are several unanswered issues around the hazard allowance and the general wellbeing of health workers.
“Many Nigerians have faced untoward hardship since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly since government started to restrict movement and lockdown states.
“Yet, reports from the field also indicate that despite the huge donations and support to government, many deserving and indigent Nigerians are yet to receive any real relief or support.
“It would then amount to great injustice to keep people in the dark or fail to publicly account for the spending, particularly in a country where corruption remains rife,” the statement adde