FG Gives Breakdown On How N30.5bn Was Spent In 4 months On Covid-19
The federal government has disclosed that it spent N30.5billion on COVID-19 between 1st April, 2020 and 31st July, 2020.
The Buhari administration stated that this represents 84 percent of the N36.3billon public funds and donations received, leaving the balance of N5.8billion.
Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, provided the figures.
The breakdown was contained in response to the Freedom of Information request sent to him on August 10 by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Connected Development (CODE).
The AGF’s letter was signed by Odanwu Chizoba, an official in his office.
In their reply, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare and CODE Chief Executive, Hamzat Lawal, said: “We note among others that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 spent N22billion; and 36 states spent N7billion to support their COVID-19 initiatives.
“We also note that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) spent N877million for deployment of assets in support of COVID-19 operations; while the Nigeria Police spent N500million on personal protective equipment. N17,865.09 was paid as bank charges.
“It is refreshing to note that 115 ordinary Nigerians donated between N1 and N100 to support the authorities’ efforts to fight COVID-19, despite the fact that it is the country’s poorest and most disadvantaged sectors of the population that continue to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The bodies demanded more specific details and additional information on the spending of N34.4billion between April and July, and details on plans to spend the balance of N5.9billion in the COVID-19 Eradication Support Accounts.
“Of the N36.3billion public funds and donations received, N1.4billion came from Nigerians and companies through accounts at the First Bank; Access Bank; GTBank, Zenith, and UBA, while N536million donations were made through the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN]. The N536 donations comprise of N89million and N279million from the Senate and House of Representatives.”
The bodies added that China General Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria donated N48million, Petroleum Equalization Management Board N50million and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board N70million.”
SERAP and CODE gave an ultimatum of 7 days for provision of the additional details.
They said failure to comply will lead to legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.