The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned officials of the All Progressives Congress- (APC) led Federal Government against the tendency of using the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as a gateway for corrupt profiteering and looting of the national treasury.
The party alleged that the lack of transparency in the handling of finances meant for providing palliatives to vulnerable citizens was already frustrating Nigerians and other well-meaning groups’ commitment in the effort to combat the spread of the scourge in Nigeria.
National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement, yesterday: “PDP is worried over activities of certain officials, who are using COVID-19 pandemic to create and manipulate situations that circumvent financial documentation and accountability rules and pave way for the looting of our treasury and borrowed funds, while the people are left at the mercy of the plague.
“This is in addition to anxieties that such officials are hiding under the demands of COVID-19 pandemic to mop up our international reserves as well as driving our nation into a frenzied $6.9b foreign borrowing, with no clear-cut terms.
“There are also allegations of plots by unscrupulous officials to manipulate the system and create a channel for a slush fund that will be diverted to corrupt APC leaders and the cabal while mortgaging the future of our nation’s generations yet unborn.”
“Our party fears that there are attempts to hide under COVID-19 to empty our $3.4 b International Monetary Fund (IMF) saving, thereby leaving our nation dry…
“The situation is pathetic and shows how low the social investment system, which the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, had earlier warned as being riddled with corruption, had degenerated.”
The PDP asked the National Assembly to protect the people by immediately scaling up its oversight activities on the handling of the COVID-19 social intervention funding.
“Furthermore, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), should set up special squads across the country to monitor the implementation of the palliatives and bring culprits to book,” the party said.