Published January 21, 2021
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
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 N 226. 85 bn 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 1 st March to 30 th 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 N 226 . 8 bn 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 .