- Connected Development (CODE), a Non-Governmental Organisation, is concerned about the funds earmarked to tackle COVID-19 in Nigeria
- The organisation is now calling on the National Assembly to intervene by organising a public hearing
- CODE has been on a mission to improve citizen’s access to credible information and empower local communities
FCT, Abuja - The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria's foremost civil society organisation, Connected Development (CODE) Hamzat Lawal, has called on the National Assembly to convene a public hearing on how COVID-19 funds were expended in Nigeria.
Lawal made the call at the launch of CODE's 2020 annual report in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He stated that the National Assembly has a duty to find out how the funds raised by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) in 2020 were utilised and implemented.
Speaking on CODE's 2020 annual report, the award-winning activist said:
“Each year at CODE, we take a moment to reflect on our work and review insights from engaging with marginalized communities, our learnings, and our accomplishments. 2020 was a landmark year where we saw the impact of our work tested in many ways.
“Since our founding in 2012, we have relied on our ability to challenge the status quo and demand accountability from the government to drive social change in the communities where we work.
“Many of which have accelerated timely intervention in healthcare, water and hygiene services, education, environment, and structural development in hundreds of low-income communities in Nigeria and six other African countries.
“With rising levels of poverty, inequality, and despair, orchestrated by the impact of the COVID pandemic, our work addressing systemic corruption in government and poor transparency and accountability, becomes increasingly crucial.”
He added that CODE has tracked N97 billion of COVID funds at state and federal levels in Nigeria, advocated for the national emergency procurement guidelines to be updated, and pushed for the prioritization of the country’s failing healthcare infrastructure.
He also revealed that CODE tracked COVID palliative distribution in 257 communities, and increased its socio-digital community of over 7000 activists who he noted are driving solutions and holding government to transparency standards across Africa.
CODE's engagement officer, Busayo Morakinyo, reeled out highlights of the organisation's achievements in 2020, especially the FollowCOVIDMoney campaign.
There was also a goodwill message from an official of Action Aid Nigeria, one of the numerous partners of CODE.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that CODE, through its grassroots accountability initiative, Follow The Money tracked N96.7 billion COVID-19 funds both at the federal and state levels in Nigeria.
Lawal, revealed this at a national town hall meeting in Abuja attended by a Legit.ng reporter in December 2020.
The theme of the meeting was: Dialogue on strengthening accountability measures for COVID-19 intervention funds.