Provide Nigerians with records of Palliatives received, disbursed—ANEEJ Urges NGF Chair

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. October 27, 2020… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has called on the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi to provide Nigerians with records of what was received by the 36 State Governors as Covid-19 palliatives from the Federal Government following a presidential directive to that effect; how were they distributed to poor Nigerians and the framework used for such distribution.

ANEEJ in a statement issued today and endorsed by its Executive Director, the Rev David Ugolor threw the challenge to the Governors in a swift reaction to the press statement by Governors Forum, which claims that “No State has hoarded any Palliatives.” ANEEJ also calls on the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to publish records of all Covid-19 distribution to states on its website.

ANEEJ while welcoming the NGF’s charge to Nigerians to check their fact correctly, wondered where such facts would be accessed when they are not made public by the Governors who received the palliatives.

“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?” Ugolor queried.

With such records and data, ANEEJ argues, Nigerians would be able to appreciate how the Governors managed the palliatives that they received on behalf of poor citizens of their states.

Ugolor noted that Civil Society Organisations are prepared to work with Dr Kayode Fayemi to reach out to his colleagues in the 36 states of the federation  to produce such a report which can help put the issues in the right perspective, pointing that the current explanations that have emanated from some state governors and the recent one from the NGF has failed to assuage the feelings of Nigerians on the issue.

“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.” Ugolor emphasized.

“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,” Ugolor stated.

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