Nigerian govt to channel all COVID-19 donations to 2020 budget


The Federal Government will use all the COVID-19 donations to fund the 2020 supplementary budget, a framework document has revealed.

The document, sighted by TheCable, targets all public funds allocated and dedicated to the fight against COVID 19 including the Fiscal Stimulus Package.

Released on Tuesday by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the document said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the opening of five COVID-19 Donor Accounts, in addition to the main CACOVID Fund Account with Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

According to the framework, these accounts, which would be opened in Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, UBA; and First Bank, will be subject to “existing TSA arrangement”.

The document said: “It also applies to all donations by corporate bodies and individuals to the Federal Government of Nigeria towards the fight against COVID 19 and the mitigation of its social and economic effects on citizens at large including donations under the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Fund domiciled at the CBN.”

The framework stated that the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, is expected to liaise with the National Assembly for the passage of the 2020 supplementary budget so the funds could be untilised.

“Disbursements of all COVID 19 Fund including those being collected directly by CBN and those domiciled with commercial banks shall be through appropriation,” the framework stressed.

“The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning may liaise with the National Assembly for emergency passage of a supplementary budget for the utilization of COVID-19 donation based on estimated total collection for the year.

“Funds are to be appropriated directly to participating MDA and spending units like Ministry of Health, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, etc., rather than to an intermediary agency like the Presidential Task Force (PTF).”

“All the requirements of the Financial Transparency Policy of the Federal Government shall be complied with. All collections into the Commercial bank accounts are to be swept into FGN Sub-Recurrent Account with the CBN.

“Failure to sweep all balances within 24 hours shall be deemed a violation of the Presidential directive on TSA which shall attract sanctions,” the framework said.

“It is mandatory for all participating MDA to provide information on all COVID-19 Fund transactions to any member of the public – individual or corporate – under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) within 7 days of receiving the request.

“Failure to publish timely report of COVID-19 activities in the prescribed format and at the stipulated intervals or to respond to FOI request will constitute early warning signs of mismanagement and shall be deemed as contravention of this Guideline,” the framework noted.

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