CISLAC, TI task Nigerian government on transparent, accountable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

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The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Transparency International (TI) Nigeria have called on Nigerian government to ensure that the distribution and vaccination processes are transparent and accountable to the public.

In a statement by CISLAC’s Executive Director Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), who is also Head of TI Nigeria, he said the distribution of the COVID-19 palliatives had not been without challenges.

They said Nigerians saw diversion and hoarding of palliatives that showed abuse of power.

“We encourage the law enforcement to investigate Covid-19 relief abuses and corruption allegations. We, along with other partners, have repeatedly pointed at credible allegations of corruption and abuse of power. For example, between July 2020 and January 2021, the #FollowCOVID19Money project wrote about 30 FOI requests to MDAs.

“Many agencies could not account for the relief funds. We expect investigations and convictions for these crimes.”

They expressed excitement to learn that Nigeria had received about 3.9 million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

They also thanked the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX) scheme formed to ensure fair access to vaccines for low- and middle-income states.

“This initiative led by the World Health Organization will ensure that no country is left behind according to the motto of the Sustainable Development Goals,” they said.

The groups categorically stated that the Nigerian government through the Covid-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF) and its members as the Ministry of Health, its related departments and agencies must ensure that the distribution and vaccination process wete transparent and accountable to the public.

“The distribution of the COVID-19 palliatives has not been without challenges. Nigerians saw diversion and hoarding of palliatives that showed abuse of power. We encourage the law enforcement to investigate Covid-19 relief abuses and corruption allegations.

“We, along with other partners, have repeatedly pointed at credible allegations of corruption and abuse of power. For example, between July 2020 and January 2021, the #FollowCOVID19Money project wrote about 30 FOI requests to MDAs. Many agencies could not account for the relief funds,” they stated