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House of Representatives Investigates Mishandling of COVID-19 Funds


House of Representatives Investigates Mishandling of COVID-19 Funds

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts initiated a comprehensive investigation on Monday into the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government. In October 2023, House member Nyampa Zakari motioned for the probe, accusing MDAs of mismanaging N183.9 billion designated to address the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2023.

Committee Chairman Bamidele Salam emphasized the committee’s commitment to diligence, cautioning MDAs against seeking extensions of time. Over 60 MDAs are under scrutiny for their handling of significant intervention funds during the pandemic. Salam underscored that the committee is not targeting individuals or groups but is focused on diligently carrying out its assignment.

During the opening session, Salam urged the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to provide relevant and competent personnel to assist the committee. Several MDAs, including Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, and Federal Road Maintenance Agency, appeared before the committee.

The committee directed the Chief Medical Director of ATBUTH, Prof Yusuf Jubrin, to reappear with relevant documents supporting funds allocated for pandemic response. Members of the committee questioned officials from the Federal Ministry of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, directing them to return with proper documentation, including vouchers and evidence of the expenditure of the allocated N3 billion during the period.

The committee expressed concerns about multiple contracts awarded on the same day and the claim of exclusive rights by certain contractors, violating the Federal Character principle. This investigation underscores the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in utilizing COVID-19 funds for effective pandemic response.


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