COVID-19: Platform calls for accountability, transparency on funds

By Chimezie Godfrey

The Nigerian Tax Justice and Governance Platform, has called on government to improve on its accountability, especially on public funds released for the fight against COVID-19.

In a statement made available to Newsdiaryonline on Wednesday, commended government on the deliberate and strategic actions taken so far to stop, limit and mitigate further spread of coronavirus in the country. 

“The network is calling on the government to improve on its accountability measures to the citizens, to monitor, drive conversation to spark actions and advocate for a transparent and inclusive approach of concerned stakeholders and private sector groups and individuals to make public all funds released for the fight against COVID-19 and its implementation plans.

“Government will therefore be expected to provide all these details in the public domain using available technological tools and media platform.

“In expression of its interest in the health, wellness and socio-economic safety of  Nigerians and other nationals resident in Nigeria, the Nigeria Tax Justice and Governance Platform urges us to continue to comply with the directives of government at all levels to keep the virus from spreading.

“As a responsible and responsive not-for-profit network facilitating universal fair tax justice and good governance in Nigeria, we are constrained to use this medium to call on government at all levels to focus, pay serious attention and take actions that will directly impact the well- being and aspirations of vulnerable, marginalized, excluded and under-served members of our communities. 

“These groups, if not properly targeted will not benefit from the palliative measures announced by governments at all levels to ameliorate their sufferings.

“Pertinently, we would appreciate measures that directly target the poor, people living with disabilities, informal sector, unemployed, underemployed, small businesses and start-ups, especially legitimate tax payers,” the Platform stated.

It also stressed the need for government to put in place monitoring  mechanisms  towards ensuring that funds meant for the COVID-19 intervention were accounted for and used judiciously among other suggestions.