Niger lawmakers react as Covid-19 task force chairman gives conflicting reports on how funds were spent
- The lawmakers at the Niger House of Assembly have detected in conflicting figures regarding the funds expended on Covid-19 in the state
- Niger Covid-19 task force had earlier said it has spent over N700 million on the pandemic before presenting another report indicating it has spent over N800 million
- The lawmakers, therefore, directed the task force to go back to present an accurate report of its expenditures as taxpayers need to know how the money was spent
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Niger state House of Assembly lawmakers are angry with the State Taskforce on COVID-19 over conflicting reports on its expenditures.
The House of Assembly ad-hoc Committee on COVID-19 frowned over the replication in some of the figures presented before the committee, The Nation reports.
The chairman of the Task Force Committee who is also the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, told the House of Assembly his committee spent N795,015,000 on its activities.
COVID-19 funds: Niger lawmakers frown over conflicting reports. Photo credit: Niger State House of Assembly
But when asked to give the amount spent so far, the Task Force presented N808,636, 000 as its expenditure.
The chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Maliki Madaki Bosso, noted replication in some of the figures presented before the committee.
Matane, on his part, admitted there was a computational error in figures on the document presented to the committee, adding that the figures will change because the Task Force activities are continuous as long as the pandemic has not ended.
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In a related development, the federal government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The human rights group is suing both respondents, including the health minister, Osagie Ehanire, over the spending of funds slated for tackling coronavirus in the country.
Added to this, the socio-economic body is asking the NCDC to publish the number of tests for politicians as compared with those for common Nigerians.
On its Twitter page, SERAP said: "We’ve filed a lawsuit asking the court to direct & compel @NigeriaGov Health Minister & NCDC to account for the spending of COVID-19 money, including donations from the private sector & to publish the number of tests for politicians as compared with tests for the poor."
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