The Federal Government says it spent N63.8 billion on COVID-19 pandemic deadly attacks from March 1 to June 30, 2020.
The amount was a shortfall of N20.097 billion from the N83.9 billion proposed by the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 in its budget.
This was contained in an Interim Report of the Special Audit of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Period, 1st March to 30th June, 2020 submitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine.
A breakdown showed that of the N63.8 billion, N22.2 billion was released to the PTF and N24.6 billion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) from the 2020 Capital budget.
Similarly, N17 billion was made available as Federal Governments financial intervention to State Governments on COVID-19 just as N1.9 billion was obtained from public donations into the five dedicated commercial bank accounts and the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
“A total of N83.9 billion was budgeted by the Federal Government for the response to the pandemic and the expected sources to fund this budget were as follows; N16.9 billion from the 2020 Budget, N32.5 billion from the COVID-19 Special Account/Levy and N34.5 billion was to be funded through donations from the public and private sectors”, the report stated.
The report further highlighted other funds mobilized from various sources as at June 30, 2020 to implement COVID-19 intervention activities “N30.1 billion raised by Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and is under their direct management.
”N110.05 billion in cash and in kind was raised by12 International Development Partners and their intervention efforts are on-going in collaboration with the PTF. N21 billion was raised by the NNPC and its Oil and Gas Sector partners and is under their direct management,” it stated.
According to the Auditor-General, the interim report covers findings from the audit of transactions amounting to N4.9 billion as at June 30, 2020 (N191 million at the PTF and N4.7 billion at participating agencies).
The Office added that “a breakdown of the Agencies and entities responsible for the transactions is included within the report, and audits of the participating agencies remain ongoing at the time of publishing this interim report”.
The document, however, revealed gaps in documentation, low utilisation of funds allocated for the containment of COVID-19, no sufficient and appropriate documentary evidence of donations, failure to submit procurement documents for post-review, no sufficient.
Others are appropriate documentary approval for funds disbursed, insufficient documentary evidence of expenditure, improper procurement procedures, on-retirement of cash advances, funds utilized on project unrelated to COVID-19 and non-distribution of food items.