The distribution of relief material in some parts of Kaduna state was mainly influenced by party membership and affiliation, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has said.
CDD through its downstream partner, Young Innovators and Vocational Training Initiatives (YIVTI), monitored the distribution process by the Kaduna State government.
In a report signed by the centre’s director, Idayat Hassan, the group said while monitoring the distribution process, it focused on determining whether people who eventually benefitted from the relief materials meet the criteria spelt out by the state government for a vulnerable group.
According to the report, actors at the local government level raised concerns over the constitution of a committee to oversee mobilisation of individuals and distribution of the palliatives.
Efforts to reach the Kaduna State government through the senior special assistant on media, Muyiwa Adekeye, were unsuccessful as he did not respond to phone calls and text message.
The report highlights several challenges which militated against the maximum attainment of the desired goal of the palliative measure to include:
“The non-application of criteria for selecting beneficiaries as the clear-cut criteria for the selection of beneficiaries was ignored in some (LGAs) as a result of premature deployment and politicisation of the whole process.”
According to the report, the palliatives which were meant for vulnerable residents were enjoyed by members or supporters of a political party in Kaduna North LGA.
“The appointment of the top officials of the ruling party into the cluster committees caused disenchantment and apathy in some communities.
” This led many of the residents to label the distribution as a party affair and led to apathy among some genuine would-be beneficiaries”.
CDD said its findings also showed that there was the absence of a structured quota system for each category of vulnerable beneficiaries leading to unequal distribution of the relief materials.
It was also observed that the absence of crowd control strategy in some of the LGAs resulted in the neglect of precautionary measures such as social distancing, wearing of face mask etc. during the distribution.
“Some of the recipients and distributors of the palliative all disregarded social distancing in their quest to access the COVID-19 relief materials.
” This was prevalent in Narayi, Kaduna North LGA. Also, investigations by CDD and its partner revealed that the polythene bags used for the distribution of the COVID-19 relief materials were not branded unlike in places like Lagos State, and this could aid diversion or rebranding of the materials to serve another purpose.
“For instance, in Nasarawa/Kudanden cluster (Chikun LGA), Doka 1 (Kaduna North LGA), we gathered that 102 cartons of Indomie and 300 gallons of Vegetable oil of relief materials were diverted by parties responsible for the distribution”.
CDD and its partners also said it observed attempts to muddle the process to disrupt openness and transparency. It cited the allocation for Gaji Ward component of Doka Cluster 1 that comprises 400 packs was transferred to Badarawa Cluster.
Following these observations, the CDD and its partners recommended that all distribution processes should take into cognisance social distancing and other precautionary measures, effective utilisation of traditional and social media platforms as well as existing community networks in the State to create awareness about the distribution of the COVID-19 relief materials.
They also recommended the enunciation and strengthening of existing compliance measures to guide the activities of government officials and members of the committees’ actors with the mandate of identifying beneficiaries and coordinating the distribution of the palliatives at community level should be adequately empowered before the commencement of phase 2 of the intervention.
“We also call for the provision of a list of identified beneficiaries to the communities for validation before distribution.
“The Centre will continue to work with other partners where palliative materials are distributed to ensure transparency and accountability,” it said.
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