You are a suspect if you fail to make public all COVID-19 Fund transactions – AGF to MDAs

…Vow to publish names of MDAs who contravenes guidelines

… Culprits will be prosecuted – ICPC assures

The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris has informed all participating Ministry and Department Agencies (MDAs) that failure to publish a timely report of COVID-19 activities as provided in the framework for the management of funds at stipulated intervals will constitute early warning signs of mismanagement and shall be deemed as a contravention of the Guideline.

Idris who spoke through the Director of Treasury Single Account (TSA), Silver Okolebor at a Zoom Webinar meeting organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), added that MDAs must also respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the member of the public
– individual or corporate – under the FOI Act within 7 days of receiving the request.

Reminding participating MDAs that the COVID-19 Fund is a public fund, the AGF noted that the public is interested in ensuring that the funds are utilized in the most transparent and prudent manner.

Adding: “For this reason, any participating MDA that contravenes this Guideline may be sanctioned from continued participation in the programme. Also, the name of the MDA and its principal officers shall be made public as an additional measure of transparency.”

Explaining the scope of the framework, he said: “This Framework covers all public funds allocated and dedicated to the fight against COVID 19 including the Fiscal Stimulus Package”

‘It also applies to all donations by corporate bodies and individuals to the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the fight against COVID 19 and the mitigation of its social and economic effects on citizens at large including donations under the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Fund domiciled at the CBN”

“Lastly, it provides clarity on the operation of the five newly opened COVID 19 Donor TSA Sub-Accounts domiciled in commercial banks”

“Objective of the Framework Federal Government recognizes citizens expectation that these resources be prudently applied towards the fight against COVID 19”

“In accord with citizens expectations, the Government is committed to managing these funds with the highest sense of transparency and integrity”

“This Framework is therefore designed to articulate the measures put in place by Government for the transparent and accountable management of COVID-19 Donor Funds as an expression of its commitment towards bridging the trust gap.”

In his presentation, the ICPC director of operations, Akeem Lawal who acknowledged the importance of prevention of corruption in the management of Covid19, disclosed that investigations are ongoing regarding some cases of distribution of palliatives and the use of funds connected with the pandemic by public institutions.

According to Lawal, the ICPC is investigating the release and distribution of grains from the strategic food reserves and agencies involved in fraudulent purported procurement of Covid19 palliatives and community enlightenment activities.

He further disclosed that the agency was also investigating state governments that are using the Covid19 pandemic to financially exploit local governments.

Lawal promised that, in all case of infractions, culprits will be investigated and prosecuted.

Earlier in his welcome address, ICPC Chairman who said that emergency period triggers a high level of corruption, noted that the commission was worried about public debates on the conditional cash transfer to vulnerable Nigerians under the social investment program.

Source: theGuardian

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