Sunday, March 7, 2021

SERAP gives FG 7 days to disclose details of payment of N729bn to 24.3m Nigerians

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar-Farouk, to publish details of proposed payments of N729 billion to 24.3 million poor Nigerians for a period of 6 months.

The non-governmental organization also wants the government to provide details of the mechanisms and logistics for the payments, list of beneficiaries, selection process, projected payments per state and whether the payments will be made in cash or through Bank Verification Numbers or other means.

This disclosure is contained in a statement that was issued by SERAP

In the statement, SERAP also urged the minister to Explain the rationale for paying N5,000 to 24.3 million poor Nigerians, which translates to five-percent of the country’s budget of N13.6 trillion for 2021, and to clarify if the proposed spending is part of the N5.6 trillion budget deficit

According to the statement, in the Freedom of Information request dated January 23, 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said publishing the details of beneficiaries and selection criteria, as well as the payment plan for six months would promote transparency and accountability, and remove the risks of mismanagement and diversion of public funds.

SERAP also urged the minister to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the payments.