The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, has tasked the Federal Government and other concerned agencies on proper accountability and clarity on the usage of funds raised to combat the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
Obi, who spoke on Arise TV, called on the government to carry the people along by clearly accounting for the inflow and outflow of COVID-19 funds.
Obi said it was not enough for the government to say that a particular amount had been spent without clearly breaking down what the funds were spent on.
He explained that the funds were public funds and as such the public should not be kept in the dark on the breakdown of expenditures of such funds.
Obi also advised the government to adjust its fiscal and monetary policies to suit the challenging times facing the Nigerian economy at the moment, noting that excessive borrowing without good cause could cripple the economy further.
He advised that every planned federal expenditure be completely scrutinised to be sure it was worth it, as reckless spending of government funds at this critical time would bear down on the economy, which, he said, was already wounded by debts, political irresponsibility and now Coronavirus pandemic.
Obi called on the government to truly factor in the poor and vulnerable into their distribution of relief packages for the COVID-19 lock down.
Obi explained that millions of Nigerians were living under poverty when things were considered normal, but with the current COVID-19 lockdown and global economic crunch, the poverty rate would definitely skyrocket.
He said: “Statistics show that over 40 million Nigerians were unemployed and 19 million Nigerians living below the poverty level when life was considered normal.
“With the current situation in the country and around the world, I can tell you that the numbers will be higher now.”
Obi urged the government to ensure that funds mapped out for relief packages trickle down to the poor and unemployed people in the society.