It is over a year the Federal Ministry of Health announced the first COVID-19 case in Lagos State, on 27 February 2020, when an Italian citizen tested positive for the virus.
During this period, the federal government and private organizations had committed billions of Naira towards cushioning the impact of the virus.
The Nigeria Open Contracting Portal (NOCOPO) website publishes the names of contractors as well as the amount of money spent by government entities to ensure openness.
According to Ripples Nigeria’s analysis of its most recent data, 13 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) awarded contracts worth over N16.06 billion.
They are Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Others include Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Federal Medical Centre, Yola Adamawa, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Interior completed the list.
Some of the items the MDAs funds were committed to include sanitizers, facemasks, medical consumables, infrared thermometers, and trainings.
Others include canopies, chairs, air conditioning sets, furniture, laptops, smart televisions, computer softwares, among others.
Aside from the fact that some of the items have nothing to do with the money’s original purpose, a deeper examination of the amount spent raises various concerns.
Breakdown of the spending shows Federal Ministry of Environment procured items worth N489.1million. Among all its expenses, an interesting item in the amount spent is the payment of N53 million to Messrs Joki engineering for consultancy services on capacity development of environmental health emergency response management.
For National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) under the Federal Ministry of Health, according to the data, N993.6 million has been spent.
In NPHCDA spending, one of the major red flags is the duplication of printing and supply of training manual for primary health workers at SEZ SSZ & SWZ to the combined tune of N69 million.
The first item read N41.9 million, the other items, with same description read N27.1 million.
University of Benin Teaching Hospital is the next MDA captured by NOCOPO. According to the data, the university hospital spent N18.9 million on covid-19 emergency procurement for the supply and Installation of light cycler PCR machine.
For Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, N23.9 million was captured as covid-19 emergency expenditure. The red flag is the N1.17 million spent in procurement of 390 hand sanitizers. This represents N3000 for each.
The Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta spent N106.7 million. Out of the sum, N7.7 million was awarded for the emergency procurement of medical consumables for the covid-19 pandemic exercise (214 cartons). The contractor’s name was missing.
Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, spent N49.9 million. However, the status of the project was missing.
Also, the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, spent N849.6 million. Again, the status of two of the projects worth N452.7 billion expected to be completed within 30 days is unknown.
The Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki pledged N45.3 million for two projects. The status of one of the projects for the delivery of solar panels worth N8.7 million was missing.
As expected, the biggest spender is Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Abuja. The centre procured items worth N11.73 billion. So many items raised eyebrow, top of which include N17.8 million spent in purchasing Smart TV sets, wireless keyboards, among others, to set up Data unit and IT Facilities.
Similarly, NCDC, Abuja, spent N23.4 million to purchase 50 pieces of HP Pavilion laptops.
The Corporate Affairs Commission, under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the document showed, committed N48.5 million to procure seventy (70) HP and Microsoft Surface Book Laptops for N48.5 million. On average, this implies that the Commission budgeted about N600,000 per laptop. N2.1million was also used to procure canopy tent table and chair.
For Federal Ministry of Water Resources, N1.2 billion was spent to expanded water, sanitation and hygiene.
Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Ministry Of Interior procured item worth N379.3 million. Out of this amount, about N40 million was used to buy 200 Pieces of Sanitary Towels, Sandrals, and bags.
Another N74.7 million was spent on 200 women cooperatives, groups to share for empowerment.
The last MDA expenditure captured is Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSDC) under the ministry of interior. The MDA spent a total of N250 million.
A major red flag noticed is the procurement of 3,800 latex disposable gloves for N19 million which amounts to N5000 each.
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