Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) initiated a sensitization program on COVID19 in Nigeria. This week twitter chat which makes it the 38th edition held on the 18th August, 2020 with Comrade Rabiâ€™u Shamma, Founder, Centre for Awareness on Good Governance and Development. The guest discussed on How Civil Society Organizations can Promote Transparency in the Fight against Covid19 in Nigeria. Here is how the discussions went.
Hello everyone Please join me in welcoming our today’s guest on @ICTAdvocates ‘s twitter chat on #CITADagainstCovid19, @R_Shamma who is going to discuss on How CSOs can Promote Transparency in the Fight against Covid19 in Nig. Welcome sir.
Welcome Mr. @R_Shamma! We are all excited to be here with you this afternoon!
My pleasure, @R_Shamma maraba! lale!! marhabun!!!
@ R_Shamma Response
Thanks, I am glad to be here.
Q 1. @ChiromaHope:
Mr. @R_Shamma, can you please start the conversation by briefing us on ways civil actors can promote transparency and accountability in the fight against #COVID19 in Nigeria.
Civil society the world over are known to be great pushers of transparency in government spending, transparency is one of the important tenets of good governance
Mr. @R_Shamma, can you please enumerate the ways these actors employ in achieving their common mandates.
People for example have complained of spending over hundreds of millions of naira on feeding school children, when the children were actually at home
My Chairman @R_Shamma In Nigeria, Private sector and the international community has contributed money and materials to support the fight against COVID-19.
With the increase as a result of donations of funds from the private sector and the international
community and the presidential task force, there is an urgent need to promote transparency in the collection and disbursement of these funds
What ways do you think are best to follow to ensure govt MDAs have become more transparent in way they handle this
pandemic especially in the area of their
Sadly, the roughly more than 500 billion so far spent by government and the donations generated have been marred by secrecy
Comrade what do you think is the reason behind govt secrecy in this fight?
Certainly there is always the factor of corruption, which has been a cankerworm that
has eaten deep into the fabric of governtment parastatals in Nigeria
@R_Shamma What ways do you think are best to follow to ensure govt MDAs have become more transparent in way they handle this pandemic especially in the area of their
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for example have said to distribute billion of naira palliatives but so far there have been no breakdown of how these spendings were carried out, they usually give a sweeping statement
Can we say the money is possibly being diverted for other activities looking at how public requesting the Ministry to provide them with
necessary info but the Ministry has refused to do so?
What ways do you think are best to follow to ensure govt MDAs have become more transparent in way they handle this pandemic especially in the area of their spending?
There is the need to ensure periodic release that can be verified by anyone, their spendings need to also be publish online, the Civil Society groups
must also be incorparated in distributions that has to do with communities
In whatever doing there must be a challenge`s.
@R_Shamma In Nig., What challenges do CSOs facing in their effort to promote transparency in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic?
There have been challenges certainly, many of the MDAs have not been responding to request for information even after applying the Freedom of information law, CSOs have also not been carried along in the formation of distribution committees, especially during the COVID19 pandemic
Mr. @R_Shamma, there are a number of cries by concern citizens and CSOs over mismanagement of #CovidFunds , the recent been the findings by @CivicHive that N37.
06m spent on the purchase of just 1808 pieces of ordinary face masks.
And the purchase of Prado Jeep at the cost of 39.75m and the description of what the vehicle will be used for is not stated. Plus many
others. And we have not seen any thing beyond having the figures trending on media.
The Covid19 pandemic is another opportunity that the corrupt leadership in Nigeria have used to further milk the country dry, CSO have therefore a very big challenge to demand for transparency in all
government spendings in order to effectively deal
with this global chall enge
@R_Shamma, what other action can we take aside making this figures known to the public?
There is the need for CSOs to track all funds said to be spent on COVID19, either in terms of palliatives or provision of necessary healthcare facilities and if we found anything fishy then we can petition the relevant anti corruption agencies, EFCC and ICPC to
demand for account
Mr. @R_Shamma, we have come to the end of this chat. On behalf of our E.D., @YZYau and the entire management of @ICTAdvocates, we
thank you so much for honoring our invitation.
It has been an interesting session
Thank you very much, it is my pleasure, may we all
rise up to the challenge of ensuring transparency in
governance during and after the covid19 pandemic.
@ICTAdvocates you are doing great, cheers!