On September 1, 2021, a CSO Coalition on Covid-19 Resources met in Abuja, with a view to galvanize support and raise awareness on the use of Covid-19 resources in Nigeria from 2020 to date, using Delta, Enugu, Kaduna and Sokoto States as case studies. In the course of deliberations, the following findings were presented.
It was revealed that although an allocation of N50.13bn was set aside for COVID-19 related spending in the Delta State 2020 budget, only N4.92bn was expended. In the same light, the Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the agency saddled with the responsibility of administering the Covid-19 vaccine in the state, got zero out of the N1.45bn allocated to it for capital spending in 2020 according to the 2020 Financial Statement of the Office of the Accountant General of Enugu State. Sokoto received the sum of N1.17bn as Covid-19 donations from different sources and allocated N525.47m to COVID-19 related initiatives. In the same light, Kaduna state spent just N9.29bn out of its N156.86bn Covid-19 budget, with N6.53bn spent on health and N171.54m on social protection.
It was discovered that funds were mismanaged and distribution of palliatives was largely hijacked by politicians for their party supporters rather than the vulnerable members of the society; thus, leading to the vandalization of Covid-19 palliatives warehouses. Regarding isolation centres, Sokoto State Government claimed to have provided four isolation centres in the heat of the pandemic. However, findings revealed that only one was actually provided and additional two were added after CSOs in the state intensified advocacy to the State Government.
In the area of vaccine distribution, the Primary Health Care Centres responsible for the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine mostly lack needed amenities. In the same vein, most health workers decried poor remuneration and inadequate personal protective equipment.
We arrived at the following recommendations:
- There is a need for State Governments to set up a dedicated fund for Epidemic Preparedness and Health Security as well as stipulated guidelines for accessing such funds.
- State Governments should institute mechanisms to incentivize vaccine uptake by citizens.
- State Governments should intensify collaboration with CSOs to improve the sensitization on Covid-19 acceptance.
- In the aftermath of the pandemic, State Governments should improve investments in healthcare infrastructure to enhance the capacity of the states to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks.
- States should institute social protection programmes that address the needs of the most vulnerable members of the society irrespective of the pandemic.
You can check our COVID-19 fund tracking portal covidfund.africa for more resources on COVID-19 fund management in Africa.
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