The lawmaker representing Ukwa East and Ukwa West Federal constituency of Abia state, Honourable Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, on Tuesday alleged that COVID-19 funds were being misappropriated in Nigeria.
The House of Representatives is reportedly set to commence a probe into how N83.9 billion appropriated for the response to COVID-19 in the 2020 Appropriation Act was spent.
Hon. Nkem-Abonta, welcomed the development.
He warned that if the misappropriation is not controlled, more Nigerians will struggle to believe that COVID-19 is real.
“In Nigeria, Covid came to become a huge business,” he said. “It became something that the ordinary man couldn’t understand. It became something that the ordinary man felt exploited.
“From the beginning of the Covid till now, we only hear billions of naira and we can’t say exactly how this funds went. At a point, we were told that States must declare Covid to get some billions. Kogi is an example. So if 80 point something billion cannot be accounted for, then Reps must, in their usual manner, enquire into it.
“I pray that at the end of the enquiry, the results and findings should be made public.”
He added: “I am aware that there is a lot of funny things happening around the Covid funds and the operator of Covid funds. I am aware that people became billionaires out of Covid proceeds, out of Covid transactions. You saw what happened during the palliatives scandal and scramble. So it’s a whole chain going on and I pray that control should be put to it.
“We should not use Covid funds at the expense of those who should get the (relief). If you go out there, most people will tell you we don’t believe in Covid because it’s business, because they are also seeing Covid-related funds being used in a manner to benefit very few and not treat the virus.
“If we continue this way, then Covid may not leave us at all. Because people distrust the operators meant to stop Covid, people don’t have belief in them, because of the way the funds are being used.”