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States hiding details of N9bn palliative funds – CODE

The Connected Development (CODE) has said that many state governments across the country are frustrating the disbursements of the federal government N9bn post-subsidy allocation to…

The Connected Development (CODE) has said that many state governments across the country are frustrating the disbursements of the federal government N9bn post-subsidy allocation to them.

The Chief Executive of CODE, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, said this in a statement. 

He stated that in the wake of increasing concerns regarding transparency and accountability in governance, the organisation lamented the worrisome lack of response from state governors to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests about the disbursement of allocated funds.

Lawal noted that on September 1, 2023, the Finance Minister announced a partial release of N2bn per state from N5bn earmarked for palliative measures following the fuel subsidy removal.

“This allocation was intended to alleviate inflation concerns plaguing the nation. Subsequently, on December 9, 2023, the President’s Special Advisor disclosed the distribution of N9bn to each state, with N7bn designated for infrastructural development and the remaining N2bn for palliative care and the mitigation of subsidy impacts.

“Recognizing the importance of transparency in governance, we took proactive steps by submitting FOI letters to all state governments on February 16, 2023.

“These letters requested two fundamental pieces of information in line with Sections 2(3) and (4) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011: Records detailing the disbursement of subsidy palliatives, including itemized expenditures, the list and location of beneficiaries, dates of distribution, and other pertinent details.

“Under the provisions of the FOI law, state governments were allotted seven days to respond to our requests, with the option of an additional seven days upon request for an extension.

“Regrettably, as of the time of this statement, no state government has responded to our inquiries, except for Plateau State,” Lawal said.

He commended the Plateau State government for its prompt and responsible action in responding to its FoI request.

He also said that this blatant disregard for transparency and accountability is unacceptable and shows an accountability deficit within Nigerians governance structure.

“Nigerian citizens, as stakeholders in the democratic process, have a right to know how public funds allocated for their benefit have been utilized,” Lawal said.

The CODE’s boss urged all state governors to immediately respond to their FOI requests and provide the requested information without further delay.

He said, “Failure to do so undermines the principles of good governance and raises serious concerns about the judicious use of resources meant to alleviate the burden on citizens during a challenging economic period. 

“We urge the media and civil society organizations to join us in demanding transparency and holding state governments accountable for the proper utilization of public funds.”


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