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The Tenth Twitter Chart on Promoting Accountability in Covid-19 Spending With Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

In continuation of its enlightening program amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the centre for information technology and development (CITAD) has today Wednesday, the 29th of April, 2020 held its 9th twitter chat with Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre who is also the chair, Transparency International in Nigeria. Malam Auwal is an anti-corruption activist, propagate of good governance and accountability who has decades of experience in the civil society struggle.

The twitter chat is part of the Centre for Information Technology and Development efforts in helping the fight against the deadly coronavirus virus in the country which is being held twice every week. In the twitter chat, CITAD uses to invite great personalities from different professions to come and interact with people in the hope of finding solutions to many problems associated with pandemic.

This week the chat focuses on Promoting Accountability in the Covd-19 Spending in the country. As it is the best practice all over the world, accountability is one of the keys to achieving the desired result in every project, without accountability many of the set target goals will not be achieved, money meant for fighting the virus will be siphoned and people assigned to handle the situation will not handle it as they supposed to.

Rafsanjani started by calling on the government at all levels to ensure accountability in dealing with Covid-19 and not use it as a diverted funds or play politics. He also suggested that accountability groups be incorporated to support it. He called on the government to ensure procurement processes follow due process and advised government to desist from sharing fake food items to public which he believe, if it is true, it is deceitful. Mr. Auwal stated that there is need for Civil Society to be fully involve to ensure accountability in the whole process. The guests also advocated for a legal framework that will enable government to prepare for any disaster or pandemic of this nature.

During the interaction, the guest took his time to explain what accountability is and its process, he also responded to questions asked by the participants. Below are some of the questions and comments from the chat:

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to today’s chat on “Promoting Accountability in the #Covid_19 Spending”. Our speaker is anti-corruption specialist & advocate, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani (@auwal_musa), the Executive Director of @cislacnigeria

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@ICTAdvocates:

Thank you very much @auwal_musa for joining us today for the chat on promoting accountability in the #COVID19 spending.

 

@AuwalMusa:

Thank you for having me.

 

@ICTAdvocates:

@auwal_musa, we would like to start by asking what your general assessment of the spending to address the #COVID19 pandemic in #Ngeria is

 

 

 

 

@AuwalMusa:

The general assessment is that it hasn’t been as transparent as we want it to be. There are a lot of discrepancies of information coming from the custodians of the funds & how it is being spent…

 

…The task force that was set up doesn’t include the requisite accountability institutions. This poses questions like how transparent & accountable the process has been.

 

It is obvious that the issue of spending on COVID-19 has not met the expectations of Nigerians because so far the targeted vulnerable groups have not been supported with food, water & access to testing facilities.

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Will this have implications on the lockdown now in full force almost everywhere in the country?

 

Since the task force itself lacks accountability mechanism, is that hinting problem in the way funds will be managed and spent @auwal_musa?

 

 

 

@AuwalMusa:

@cislacnigeria

saw this coming at the beginning & that is why we issued a statement demanding for total accountability in the management of #COVID-19. We even suggested inclusion of some govt agencies working on #anticorruption and credible NGOs and media, but…

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Were your recommendations considered?

 

@AuwalMusa:

We are yet to see any implemented.

 

@Sagiru_Ado:

@auwal_musa, wealthy individuals are afraid of making donations because of the lack of transparency and accountability of most of the government machineries at all levels. Sir, what strategies will wealthy people follow to ensure that donations reach the needys?

 

 

 

@AuwalMusa:

My previous response applies here. It is up to the non-state actors to monitor the donations and information given about spending from the committee in order to verify & confirm that the money or items reached the needy.

 

@ICTAdvocates:

@auwal_musa, we have heard about donations made different wealthy individuals,corporate organizations&even government agencies, of course so much money has been realized, how can accountability be ensured in spending the money to address the #COVID19 pandemic in #Nigeria?

 

 

@aUWALmUSA:

It’s a bit reactive in nature to start looking for how accountability will be ensured in the process that we are already thinking of the end. What can be done now is that the @nassnigeria under its oversight mandate should demand an annotated report of the spendings…

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Do you think this is necessary? How will this help in promoting accountability in the spendings to address #COVID19 in the country?

 

 

@AuwalMusa:

You cannot state that the Legislature do not have a stake in the oversight of what happens to an intervention fund housed by the @cenbank running into billions of naira. What then is their oversight job if not majorly to ensure that prudence is applied…

… in the implementation of ANY government engagement.

 

@AuwalMusa:

We are already seeing the implications as some Nigerians do not trust the govt anymore. Promises were made but many are yet to see the manifestation of those promises yet officials keeping saying that they have provided palliatives…

Auwal Musa:

Again, in some places, there were contaminated food items and expired drip were taken to some states and they were rejected.

 

 

 


Salma Abdulwaheed

@ooomiiiii

@auwal_musa, for transparency in distribution of palliatives, what are the proactive measures needed to be put in place for every penny spent?

 

@auwal_musa:

Without the presence of a monitoring team, which is basically the work of CSOs, being proactive in transparency in this process is an illusion. Implementers cannot monitor themselves.

 

@ICTAdvocates:

@auwal_musa, we have heard about donations made different wealthy individuals, corporate organizations & even government agencies, of course so much money has been realized, how can accountability be ensured in spending the money to address the #COVID19 pandemic in #Nigeria?

 

 

 

@auwal_musa:

It’s a bit reactive in nature to start looking for how accountability will be ensured in the process that we are already thinking of the end. What can be done now is that the @nassnigeria under its oversight mandate should demand an annotated report of the spendings …

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Do you think this is necessary? How will this help in promoting accountability in the spendings to address #COVID19 in the country?

 

@auwal_musa:

You cannot state that the Legislature do not have a stake in the oversight of what happens to an intervention fund housed by the @cenbank running into billions of naira. What then is their oversight job if not majorly to ensure that prudence is applied…

 

 

@auwal_musa:

…that occurred throughout the emergency era

@auwal_musa:

When the government or the committee gives details on what they have done with the money or items, non-state actors can start by tracing & monitoring in order to verify & confirm. But if there is no information from the committee then it will be difficult to track the spending

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Is there any role that anti-corruption advocates like you (@auwal_musa) and the larger Nigerian civil society can play in ensuring accountability in the #COVID19 spending?

 

@AuwalMusa:

When the government or the committee gives details on what they have done with the money or items, non-state actors can start by tracing & monitoring in order to verify & confirm. But if there is no information from the committee then it will be difficult to track the spending

 

@ICTAdvocates:

We are halfway in our Twitter Chat on “Promoting Accountability in the #COVID19 Spending in #Nigeria“, we having in the chat, an anti-corruption advocate and Executive Director of @cislacnigeria, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani (@auwal_musa). Questions/comments are welcome

 

 


Salma Abdulwaheed

@ooomiiiii:

@auwal_musa, with all the money donated to Nigeria government! Do Federal Government need to borrow more funds from IMF to fight the Pandemic?

 

  • UNANSWERED

 

@ICTAdvocates:

 

@auwal_musa, we would like to start by asking what your general assessment of the spending to address the #COVID19 pandemic in #Ngeria is

@auwal_musa:

The general assessment is that it hasn’t been as transparent as we want it to be. There are a lot of discrepancies of information coming from the custodians of the funds & how it is being spent…

 

 

@ICTAdvocates:

What are then major loopholes?

 

@auwal_musa:

Desperation to steal, divert palliatives meant for poor Nigerians by some people in govt & the committee which is largely populated by govt officials. Inadequate access to credible information fuelled by lack of transparency & accountability in the process are some of the…

@auwal_musa:

…major loopholes. Also, refusal to include credible NGOs are one of the main reasons for the shortcomings.

 

 

@ICTAdvocates:

To ensure accountability in the #COVID19 spending in #Nigeria, what would you recommend, @auwal_musa?

#StaySafeNigeria #StayHomeStayFit

 

@auwal_musa:

#anticorruption activists can play a key role to ensure transparent & accountable management & utilization of resources under COVID-19 spending through tracking procurement, direct distribution of palliatives (food & cash) to communities. These can be monitored & documented

 

@auwal_musa:

Again, NGOs can verify claims from the government or committee.

 

@ChiromaHope, This is in response to your question

Quote Tweet

Auwal Musa

@auwal_musa

When the government or the committee gives details on what they have done with the money or items, non-state actors can start by tracing & monitoring in order to verify & confirm. But if there is no information from the committee then it will be difficult to track the spending

 

 

@auwal_musa:

Sir, now that these details are not in public domain, where do we start our engagement as civic actors?

 

As civic actors, we need to start by compelling the govt to make this information public. And the information must be timely and legit otherwise we will have speculations, fake news & distortion of reality.

@ChiromaHope:

Thank you for the response!

 

 

@auwal_musa, we would like to start by asking what your general assessment of the spending to address the #COVID19 pandemic in #Ngeria is

 

@auwal_musa:

The general assessment is that it hasn’t been as transparent as we want it to be. There are a lot of discrepancies of information coming from the custodians of the funds & how it is being spent…

@auwal_musa:

…The task force that was set up doesn’t include the requisite accountability institutions. This poses questions like how transparent & accountable the process has been.

@ICTAdvocates:

Since the task force itself lacks accountability mechanism, is that hinting problem in the way funds will be managed and spent @auwal_musa?

 

@AuwalMusa:

Saw this coming at the beginning & that is why we issued a statement demanding for total accountability in the management of #COVID-19. We even suggested inclusion of some govt agencies working on #anticorruption and credible NGOs and media, but…

 

…probably because there was an agenda to block information about spending, we didn’t see the application of these suggestions.

 

 

 

@auwal_musa:

In the absence of checks and balances that would have been brought to the table by these institutions, abuse is then inevitable

 

@ICTAdvocates:

Were your recommendations considered?

 

@AuwalMusa:

We are yet to see any implemented.

@auwal_musa:

 

…probably because there was an agenda to block information about spending, we didn’t see the application of these suggestions.

@auwal_musa:

In the absence of checks and balances that would have been brought to the table by these institutions, abuse is then inevitable

So far the approach towards ensuring a proper accountability of the funds has gone wrong, so sir what will be your recommendations as to how this wrong can be corrected?

 

@ICTAdvocates:

@auwal_musa, So far the approach towards ensuring a proper accountability of the funds has gone wrong, so sir what will be your recommendations as to how this wrong can be corrected?

 

@auwal_musa:

First, the committee needs to re-organise itself to include critical stakeholders that were initially left out. Let them release timely information on what govt is doing and what spending has been done or will be done in terms of purchase of medicine, palliatives, etc…

@auwal_musa:

…They should also ensure that the procurement process follows due process. Also, let the govt desist from sharing fake food items. If true then it is deceitful. The media and CSOs need to be fully involved to ensure accountability in the entire management of #COVID19

 

@UmmiDaudaBagari:

@auwal_musa, what contribution can we, as young women in this part of the country offer in promoting transparency and accountability in the management of public resources?

 

 

@auwal_musa:

One of the ways is to work with an organised platform that can get credible information & data. Then you can monitor & track the government’s claim with pictorial evidence or videos. As individuals, you cannot do anything, hence the need to work with a credible platform

 

 

 

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