Covid-19: Actionaid Nigeria urges accountability in funds utilisation

A non-governmental organisation, Actionaid Nigeria, has called on the federal government to set “a clear accountability mechanism structure in partnership with civil society organisations, to monitor the utilisation of resources committed to the covid-19 response.”

This was contained in a statement issued by its country director, Ene Obi, in Lokoja on Friday.

Obi charged the leaders to be innovative and communicate ways on how child education could be sustained nationally “at this time that children are forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.”

She said, “Government must equally ensure that access to testing kits and quality of service is prioritised, irrespective of citizen’s status. Also, government must ensure that the focus on COVID-19 does not lead to diversion of resources away from other existing health priorities such as efforts to eliminate maternal and child mortality.

“Work with CSOs and other existing structures who already have database of the poorest of the poor including the aged, to ensure they benefit from the advance conditional cash transfer, as our findings show that some of the most vulnerable and poor are omitted from the list and will suffer other complications other than covid-19.

“Prioritise vulnerable women in its palliative measures to cushion their loss of income because when women are reached, their household benefits. Electricity, water, food should be available to households to reduce the burden of care work on women.”

Continuing, she said, “Include Gender Based Violence (GBV) care as part of essential services, update GBV referral pathways and provide extra funding for GBV service provision.

“Ensure that awareness and prevention campaigns are intensified at the grassroots to demystify the myths and misconceptions on the novel virus. Such campaigns should be audience specific considering the information needs of children, the aged, the blind and deaf.

“Ensure that states implement the lockdown order as a matter of urgency for effectiveness with adequate notice to enable citizens prepare for the lockdown.”

She, however, called for the expansion of the membership of covid-19 response team to include CSOs for effective coordination, accountability and transparency in the entire response.

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