The national register for recording all receipts of funds, materials, and other resources made available for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic does not yet contain information to confirm that beneficiary agencies received the funds and donations registered for them, the Federal Government has said.
On January 15, 2021, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the Federal Government revealed that a total of N226.85bn was mobilised from various sources in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic between March and June 2020.
It made this public in the interim report on the special audit of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the period of 1st March to 30th June 2020.
The report was released by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and signed by the Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine.
Additional details obtained from the report in Abuja on Wednesday showed that the Federal Government could not confirm if beneficiaries actually received the N226.8bn COVID-19 intervention funding.
The auditor-general’s report spotted some gaps in the documentation of the intervention process, as it stressed that the national register for the initiative should be improved.
It said, “The national register for recording all receipts of funds, materials, and other resources made available for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic will require regular update and additional functionalities to be of maximum value.
“The current register, for example, does not yet contain information to confirm that beneficiary agencies received the funds and donations registered for them.
“Furthermore, all entries into the register should be dated to enable more useful reporting of its contents.”
The auditor-general’s report recommended that the national register be improved to enable the tracking of pledges, commitments and actual disbursements.
It said the register should track distributions, including where the funds or materials were received and the purpose/beneficiary to which they were applied.
“The register should be all encompassing and not limited to donations/materials brought to the attention of the PTF (Presidential Taskforce),” it stated.
The report added, “The PTF should introduce a regular process of circularising all stakeholders requesting confirmation of donations made and donations received.”
Nigeria reported its first case of COVID-19 on February 27, 2020, while the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, inaugurated a 12-man Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on March 17, 2020.