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CSOs insist on transparency in palliatives, $311m Abacha loot









The demand for transparency in the deployment and management of COVID-19 palliatives deepened on Monday with two civil society organisations calling for fairness.





The CSOs are the Public and Private Development Centre and the Social Action Nigeria.





The PPDC called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies to comply with the directives of the Bureau of Public Procurement on fiscal transparency in handling COVID-19 palliatives.













The Social Action, on the other hand, demanded that the Federal Government must ensure that the $311m recovered Abacha loot should be deployed to critical sectors of the economy including the health sector.






The nongovernmental organisation said the government should publish the list of specific projects for which it intends to utilise the fund and with concrete timelines for their implementation.





The demands were contained in separate statements by the Communications Officer of PPDC, Mercy Igwe and the Head of Social Action, Vivian Bellonwu-Okafor, obtained by The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.





Igwe said, “The regulations set by the BPP require all procuring entities to prepare procurement plans for all projects that specifically respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.





“These plans should be uploaded into the Nigeria Open Contracting Portal where it will be accessed by the BPP.





“They have also mandated procuring entities to ensure that no reduction of values or splitting of procurements is carried out such as to evade the use of the appropriate procurement method or thresholds.”





She added, “We believe that civil societies such as ours can play a valuable role in helping the government in tracking and monitoring the processes to ensure that resources are allocated efficiently.





“We urge all MDAs who are currently carrying out emergency procurement to implement these orders as the PPDC will be actively involved in monitoring compliance to the given mandate.





“In a commendable effort to improve transparency and accountability in emergency procurement amid COVID-19 amongst MDAs, the BPP shared a guideline on the conduct of emergency procurements.”





According to Bellonwu-Okafor, the $311m Abacha loot is yet one of the key points upon which the present regime would be assessed in terms of transparency and accountability.








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