Nigerians mostly low income residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, have revealed that they are yet to receive any Covid-19 intervention relief fund from the federal government.
An investigation carried out by Heritage Times on transparency and accountability in the disbursement of the COVID19 relief funds revealed that many vulnerable citizens in Abuja did not get any of the relief fund.
In several interactions with random citizens in Abuja, it was discovered that some of them received federal government conditional cash transfers of N5, 000 during the COVID19 lockdown period, but not intervention relief funds.
A cross section of residents who spoke to Heritage Times, said, they are not aware of such funds, apart from the government N5000 conditional cash transfer that were given to some households across the FCT.
Also, information regarding the utilization of assistance received by Nigeria from private persons, corporate entities, development partners and others, under the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has been non-transparent.
Heritage Times investigation at the time of this publication could not get sources where information regarding the collection and utilization of any funds for COVID19 relief are available.
It is known for instance that the International Monetary Fund assisted Nigeria with $3.4b USD under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), amid many other donations and budgetary allocations.
However, comprehensive data on the funds received and how it is being utilized remains elusive. There seems to be no centralized information system that provides transparent data on how the monies are being disbursed.
Interfacing with citizens in a bid to unveil what was received, Mrs Christiana Samuel, who reside in Kiyi village of Kuje Area council of the FCT, said she only benefited from the federal government conditional cash of N5000, which she said were given to some household.
She said apart from the N5000 which is always given to vulnerable people, she did not receive any other government assisted funds.
According to her: “I’m just hearing about this Covid-19 intervention funds from you for the first time and I have not received it.”
Another resident, Rukaiyyat Abako, who is also a resident of Sheda village in Kwali Area council, said she has not received any federal government Covid-19 intervention funds, apart from the N5000 that were given to some households of which she is also a beneficiary.
“I have not received any Covid-19 intervention fund apart from that of the N5000 that was given to some households, which I am also a beneficiary,” she said.
A village chief of Puka community in Kwali, Abada Sheneni, said he was not aware of such intervention funds, adding that none of his subjects have received the federal government Covid-19 intervention funds.
He said the only intervention funds that some of his people benefited from was that of the federal government N5000, given to some households in the community.
“In fact, the only funds I know some people from my village benefitted from was that of the N5000 which was given to some households and not everybody that even benefited, only few of them and they are vulnerable people,” He disclosed.
Mrs Rebecca Daniel, a widow who reside in Anguwar Gbakya in Abaji Area Council, said she was not aware of any Covid-19 intervention funds, adding that she only benefited from the N5000 that were given to some households in the area.
“I am not aware of this Covid-19 intervention funds you are talking about, except that of the N5000 which are given to some households and majority of the beneficiaries are vulnarable people and they women which I am also a beneficiary,” she said.
Also commenting, the chief of Dafa community in Kwali Area council, Alhaji Abdullahi Kajiya, said none of his people that have received the federal government Covid-19 intervention funds.
“I only know about the N5000 which are given to someone households every two or three months. Apart from that, I am not aware of this one you are talking about,” he said.