Connected Development(CODE) has urged the Ondo State Government to Improve on it’s framework and strengthen accountability measures around the utilization of COVID19 resources in the State towards alleviating the impact of the pandemic on regular citizens.
With support from Oxfam in Nigeria, through “The Follow COVID19 money Project” CODE paid an advocacy visit to the Chairman COVID-19 Committee Ondo State, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information Ondo State and the Deputy Accountant General Office, Ondo State. This visit seeks to galvanize action through multidimensional engagement and mobilization towards improving transparency measures, closing the gap between citizens and government and rebuilding citizens’ trust in governments interventions as well as strengthening institutions in the State.
The visit which is the second in a series of advocacy visits and activities mapped out for six (6) project states, happened in Akure, Ondo State. The team first met with the Chairman COVID-19 Committee, Prof Adesegun Fatusi, who highlighted COVID-19 Protocols and Major Challenges in the delivery of COVID-19 interventions in the state. He asserted that the state has set up a response fund Committee with the private sector to raise more funds and other COVID-19 concerns, as the state has upgraded and provided more health facilities to fight the pandemic and other health emergencies in the State.
The team then visited the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Pastor Adeniran Adeyemo with his team of directors who spoke on the International funding available for states to access in fighting COVID-19, and the need to develop mechanisms between beneficiaries and state COVID-19 Intervention offices. The permanent Secretary noted that the ministry is open to partner and work with CODE/OXFAM to achieve positive results in the state and also stated that the ministry did not receive any fund from the government as COVID-19 fund, but they consistently educated citizens on COVID-19 Protocol. The Permanent Secretary and his agency firmly supported the process of ensuring transparency and accountability in COVID-19 funding and intervention are utilized appropriately.
The team led by CODE Programs and Research Associate, Dr Onyekachi Onuoha (PhD), appreciated the Permanent Secretary and other Departmental Directors present at the meeting on behalf of CODE and Oxfam after presenting the policy brief to them, reiterating that CODE and Oxfam Nigeria would be glad to work with the ministry to achieve positive goals in the state.
Lastly, the team visited the Deputy Accountant General office, Olaleye B.P., who said that the 1st phase of COVID-19 expenditure Audit report will be available by Monday, 22 February, 2020 Online. While the accountant general office audited report will be available by May or June ending.
He added that the Online COVID-19 Audit reports can be accessed here www.oag.on.gov.ng
Connected Development, is collaborating with community-based organisations, State Media Organizations, the Civil Society Organisations and other accountability groups in Ondo State to support civic advocacy, and strengthen policy, institutional, and other frameworks for accountability of COVID interventions..