Members of the Senate Committee on Special Duties Thursday tackled the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, over spending of the N32.4bn allocated to her office for COVID-19 palliatives.
The minister had appeared before the committee to brief it on the ministry’s spending of the funds earmarked for COVID-19 palliatives last year.
A member of the committee, Senator Ali Ndume, said: “The modus operandi being adopted by your ministry cannot in anyway help in fixing the country. Humanitarian intervention should be looked at more holistically,” he said.
The committee’s vice chairman, Senator Biobarakuma Eremionyo, said: “Giving unemployed people N10,000 or even N20, 000 for a month or two cannot help them out of the poverty related problems facing them.”
Responding, the minister said only N2.4bn was released to her ministry from the N32.4bn earmarked.
“This sum is meant for the payment of N5,000 each to one million vulnerable urban individuals for six months.”
She said since COVID-19 activities were still ongoing, the ministry was devising ways to deliver palliatives to the most vulnerable groups.