Two Civil Society organizations, Connected Development (CODE) and Oxfam in Nigeria, on Wednesday charged the Lagos State government to ensure transparency in COVID-19 spending.
The CSOs, which paid an advocacy visit to some ministries in the state recently, called for an open procurement process on COVID-19 projects and a dedicated open portal that publishes expenditures and procurements.
The ministries visited by CODE and Oxfam include the Budget and Economic Planning, Finance, and Information and Strategy.
The CSOs also sought information on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) expenditures and utilization of COVID-19 funds.
They also advocated for timely and adequate breakdown of expenditures on COVID-19 funding and prompt release of such information to the public.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Isaac Thorpe, who addressed the CSOs, said the state government would uphold the social contract it signed with the people of Lagos.
READ ALSO: CSOs promise to monitor covid-19 palliatives
He, however, said Lagos cannot have a dedicated portal for COVID-19 procurement as figures for that purpose are available on the portal of both ministries of budget and finance.
Dr. Onyekachi Onuoha, who led the CSOs team on the visit, stressed that it is absolutely important for Nigerians to know how the funds contributed for the COVID-19 response were spent.
“Oxfam is working with CODE to ensure that both state and federal governments are accountable and transparent in regards to the monies received and spent on the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated.
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