SERAP takes Nigerian government to court over COVID-19 palliatives

SERAP takes Nigerian government to court over COVID-19 palliatives

- SERAP has asked an Abuja to order compel the FG to disclose the identities of Nigerians who benefited from the COVID-19 palliatives

- The non-governmental organisation wants the FG to account for the funds budgeted for vulnerable people

- The CBN and the ministry of humanitarian affairs were joined in the suit

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to publish the names of Nigerians who have so far benefited from COVID-19 palliatives.

The non-governmental organisation in the suit is demanding for the government to disclose spending details of public funds and private sector donations to provide socio-economic benefits to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

SERAP takes Nigerian government to court over COVID-19 palliatives

SERAP said it wants to know the identities of Nigerians who were given monies and food during the COVID-19 lockdown. Photo credits: Vanguard
Source: UGC

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SERAP argued that minister of humanitarian affairs, disasters management and social development, Sadia Umar-Farouk, and the CBN governor, are bound by the Freedom of Information (FoI) law upon request to release details of those who have so far benefited from the COVID-19 funds.

In another report, a consortium of anti-corruption organisations has called on federal and state governments to immediately publish the names of all beneficiaries of government palliatives to ensure transparency in the exercise.

The organisations under the Upright For Nigeria, Stand Against Corruption campaign also demanded inclusion of citizens and members of the civil society in the federal and state government task force committees on the implementation of the palliative programmes.

The consortium includes ActionAid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development and the Centre for Communication and Social Impact.

In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Ene Obi, country director of ActionAid Nigeria, the consortium lead organisation, the group called for more action towards reaching Nigerians who have been hit by the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Further appreciating the President’s directive for an increase in the number of beneficiaries on the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) register from 2.5 million to 3.5 million, Ene said there is currently a disconnect and information imbalance between the governments and citizens on the Social Investment Programme (SIP) including the CCT and the COVID-19 emergency relief fund.

The consortium warned that the information imbalance between governments and citizens on the CCT which started in 2018 and other palliative measures specifically donated for COVID-19 may lead to corruption.

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