By Zakaa Lazarus
Civil Society Organizations under the auspices of Connected Development (CODE) and BudgiT Foundation on Wednesday called on President Muhammed Buhari to probe the Minister’s of finance, health and other stakeholders regarding Covid-19 intervention funds donated to Nigeria.
The Executive Director, CODE, Hamzat Lawal made the call while reacting from questions filled by journalists during a press briefing to launch second phase of the covid-19 transparency and accountability project in Abuja.
According to him, the first phase of the project was to address the deep rooted systemic profiteering culture associated with covid interventions and ineffective feed back mechanism for tracking Covid -19 fund disbursements and management across focus countries.
The group also noted that, the second phase of the project will advocate for improved healthcare funding and address the issues related to vaccine deployment and equitable distribution across focus countries.
“As organisations we will do this firstly, by conducting research on the post Covid environment, the distribution of health sector resources, the government’s commitment to healthcare funding vaccine procurement plans and the issues affecting the equitable distribution in Africa, with special focus on vulnerable groups in terms of commercial activity and socioeconomic status”
“We will also facilitate dialogue sessions between 36 CSOs and the government to create opportunities for engagement between both parties on improved funding and health sector accountability.” he added.
“We will not only collaborate with governments in focus countries to institute proper and sustainable accountability systems, we will also enhance the COVID-19 accountability Platform with a digital dashboard that tracks health sector resourcing and accountability approaches” he added.
“Beyond collaborations with the government and sectoral leaders, we will also strengthen citizens engagement and equip civil society organisations in each focus country on how to prioritise vulnerable communities in their advocacy for improved health care investment.
“The COVID-19 transparency and accountability project has been instrumental in strengthening COVID19 fund accountability frameworks and devising strategies that enhance citizen led advocacy for reforms.
“We believe that this second phase will leverage existing partnerships with relevant stakeholders, the OGP and Global Health Organisations working on fiscal issues related to COVID-19 fund management and health sector accountability.