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National Assembly Raises Eyebrow On Management Of Donated Funds For Coronavirus, Makes Suggestion

The leadership of the National Assembly has raised eyebrow on the management of the money individuals and corporate bodies donated for the fight against coronavirus, suggesting proper coordination.

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, who spoke to newsmen  today, April 14, shortly after an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, along with the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said: “the various donations that we are receiving should go into a single account and should have a fund management committee that would be in charge of releases. Accountability and transparency require that we have that separation.”

While commending Nigerians and corporate bodies that have made the donations, the Senate President insisted that there should be more coordination as far as the management of the funds donated is concerned.

He however commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for working hard to address the challenge confronting the nation.

“I believe the Presidential Task Force is doing a very good job, they have been very proactive and they deserve our commendation.”

The Senate President also called for a review of the way the social investment programme of government is being implemented, so as to reach more Nigerians, especially the category of people the programme was meant for.

“We also believe that it is time to reform the way and manner we implement the social investment programme, This is a very important programme that is meant to help poor and vulnerable Nigerians and we believe that having implemented it for four years or more, we should be reviewing to evaluate the efficacy efficiency with which we have been implementing the programme.

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“I believe that we also need to legislate on how to fight poverty in Nigeria because this is one issue that has been there for quite some time and therefore there is need for us to have a very clear and well spelt out processes and procedures on how to tackle poverty.

“There should be very little or no room for discretion so that we have a programme that will be very transparent and should go deep down to those who really deserve to have the support and should be  such an equitable and fair programme as far the geographical spread across the country is concerned.”

The Senate President said the National Assembly is on standby to reconvene and thrash the issue of the N500 billion stimulus package on cushioning the effects of COVID-19 proposed by government, when presented to it.

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