CACOVID, Humanitarian Ministry: A story of corruption and failed intenvention

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By Lawrence Ekwonu

The federal government and the private initiative, CACOVID are currently in the eyes of the storm as a result of revelations coming out in several quarters which seems to indicate that the federal government together with CACOVID may have been less than transperant in the way and manner it has handled the billions of naira allocated and recieved in donations from public spirited individuals and organizations within and outside Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

As at last count four states have been discovered to have housed palliatives meant for Nigerians in secret warehouse.

Nigerians at the hieghts of the lockdown expected palliatives from the government but such palliatives never came. The palliatives were only announced in the media but never got to the homes of those who needed it the most.

The minister of humanitarian affairs Umar Farouq. while denying a statement credited to her that every home in Nigeria got palliatives however said that “Every state government has received its shares of palliatives for onward distribution”.

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What has become obvious is that government gave out palliatives to state government for distribution to poor Nigerians. What is also obvious is that the palliatives never got to poor homes of Nigerians who needed it the most at the height of the National lockdown.

The palliatives were stored in secret warehouses across the states for reasons only the state governments concern can explain.

On two fronts from the federal government and from the private led initiative CACOVID Nigerians were shot changed.

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CACOVID also short changed Nigerians.

The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) describes itself as a Private Sector task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) with the sole aim of combating Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

This task force according to information from its website is tasked with pulling resources across industries to provide technical and operational support while providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives.

In addition to the efforts of the Federal government, the Coalition said it is providing and equipping medical facilities in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. This it said will involve the creation of testing, isolation and treatment centers, and include the provision of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and molecular testing labs.

CACOVID claims the donation it has received were used to fund hospitals hin Lagos (1,000 beds), Kano (500 beds), Rivers (210 beds), Abuja (200 beds), Enugu (200 beds) and Borno (200 beds). While it plans to set up facilities in Katsina, Ogun, Bayelsa, Anambra, Bauchi and Plateau.

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These centre’s according to CACOVID will be fully equipped with medical supplies and trained personnel to cater to anyone who may become affected. In addition, experts from around the world will be on ground to provide technical and training support, should there be a need to expand.

What has become obvious however is that the CACOVID scheme may have been a grand design to extort money from government institutions and corporate Nigeria without any intention whatsoever to deliver on its promise.

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As at date information available to Daybreak shows that CACOVID has in no way delivered on any of the mandate it promised for with it has received large sums of money as donations. The hospitals and testing facilities it promises are no where to be found.

CACOVID must come clean and explain to Nigerians what it did with the billions of naira it received on their behalf in the name of providing Nigerians with palliatives and building hospitals and Covid-19 treat facilities across the country.

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