The House of Representatives says it would investigate the utilisation of funds disbursed to government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for COVID-19 intervention.
The decision for the probe was taken after the lawmakers adopted a motion by Rep. Nyampa Zakari (APC-Adamawa) at plenary on Tuesday.
Zakari said the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 affected families, businesses and economies worldwide, adding that it resulted in death of people, loss of jobs and economic opportunities for millions of homes in different parts of the world including Nigeria.
He said the pandemic caused lockdowns, travel restrictions, business closures, and government shutdowns to control the virus’s spread.
Zakari said the disruption of economic activities necessitated the introduction of various programmes, policies, and interventions to boost the economies of families, small businesses, and public corporations.
“Mindful of that the Federal Government of Nigeria initiated several measures including budgetary provisions as well as funding from international donor agencies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens;
“Also aware that a sum of N83.9 million was appropriated for the COVID-19 response in the 2020 Appropriation Act as well as another sum of over N100 billion as intervention funds through supplementary budget and international donor agencies.
“The Auditor-General’s report and other sources reveal that significant funds for COVID-19 palliatives and international donations were diverted and unaccounted for by various agencies of government.
“Concerned that the lack of proper accountability of funds allocated for COVID-19 intervention by the Federal Government and global donor agencies could potentially lead to negative economic ratings and loss of opportunities for Nigeria,” he said.
Contributing, Rep. Ahmed Jaha (APC-Borno) said that the amount used to provide intervention was enough to establish standard hospitals in all 360 federal constituencies of the country.
He said some of the funds were allegedly used to construct roads that had nothing to do with safeguarding human health at the time.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, mandated the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to investigate the expenditure and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.