The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked both the Minister of Health, Osagie Enahire, and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to publish the details of their weekly spending of funds on the fight against coronavirus in Nigeria.
The group said transparency in the use of funds would help build trust among Nigerians, as the nation grapples with the pandemic.
SERAP, in a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Sunday, urged the health agencies to disclose the number of Covid-19 tests conducted for prominent Nigerians and the numbers of tests conducted for the ordinary Nigerians.
BREAKING: We’ve asked the Minister of Health & DG NCDC to publish weekly spending details of funds to combat coronavirus in Nigeria; disclose the nos of tests for politicians compared with tests for the poorest & the level of enforcement for home quarantine system for politicians
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) March 29, 2020
In our FoI requests, we said: "Disclose whether spot checks are carried out to ensure strict compliance by politicians in home quarantine."
"Transparency in the use of funds & operations of the Ministry of Health & NCDC would help to build trust, engage Nigerians & safe lives."
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) March 29, 2020
SERAP on Sunday last week had urged President Muhammadu Muhammadu to instruct the anti-graft agencies, EFCC and ICPC, to track and monitor spending by federal agencies and state governments on fighting the pandemic in Nigeria.
Many Nigerians have taken to social media to complain about how the Covid-19 tests are conducted for the general public; saying politicians were being given preferential treatment to test for the virus without being symptomatic while ordinary Nigerians were being advised to wait until they show a level of symptoms before tests are conducted.
“We’ve asked the Minister of Health & DG NCDC to publish weekly spending details of funds to combat coronavirus in Nigeria; disclose the nos of tests for politicians compared with tests for the poorest & the level of enforcement for home quarantine system for politicians
“In our FoI requests, we said, disclose whether spot checks are carried out to ensure strict compliance by politicians in home quarantine.
“Transparency in the use of funds & operations of the Ministry of Health & NCDC would help to build trust, engage Nigerians & safe lives,” SERAP tweeted.
It’s not just setting up labs, it’s ensuring that EVERYONE who needs to be tested can get tested and not just u guys giving priority to politicians and so called VIPs, who are part of the reason why we are in this very mess to begin with😏
— Chine Nwizu (@ms_nwizu) March 29, 2020
Please I want to know if to get tested is by having a travel history or anyone who shows any symptoms of the virus ?
Because in Nigeria is only those with travel history,leaving the average Nigerian to his fate,they only carry out test on politicians
— Nith Dickson (@DicksonNith) March 28, 2020
Countries around the world are trying to stop the spread of coronavirus through testing. Social commentators have suggested that Nigeria’s index is still low because the country’s capacity for testing for the virus is still very low.
A new report based on data from China finds that for every known case of infection, there could be up to 10 people with the virus that remain unidentified in the community.
As at 10 p.m. on Saturday, there were 97 cases or coronavirus in Nigeria.
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