After exposing the fictitious spending of the Southeast states in response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, SecretReporters has gone further to reveal how the North Central States responded to the outbreak in terms of financial allocation and spending.
However, as of the time this story was filed, searches by this news medium revealed that Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, and the Federal Capital Territory had not yet made their Covid budget and expenditure accessible for the year 2020. Uncertainty exists on whether the states’ actions in refusing to make such information available to the public violate the Open Treasury Act or the Freedom of Information Act.
Recall that the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria on February 27, 2020. The virus that emerged first in China in January 2020, was brought to Nigeria through an index case confirmed in Lagos.
Medical professionals have stated that COVID-19 affects individuals differently and that most of the infected individuals will experience mild to moderate sickness and recover without hospitalization. However, the federal government and the governments of several states responded vigorously to its rise in Nigeria.
According to Our World in Data and JHU CSSE COVID-19 Data, Nigeria’s current Covid-19 rate is 261,000,000 while there have been 3,147 recorded mortality cases. But at a worldwide level, the death rate is 6.4 million, while the number of cases is 578 million.
Many Nigerians still ponder whether the funds that went into fighting it and the provision of relief were justified looking at the skepticism that followed the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria and the fraudulent cash that was funneled into the response efforts.
For the people of Kwara State, SecretReporters found that Thirty-Four Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Four Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twelve Naira (N34,974,794,712) was the entire budget for the Covid-19 response for September, November, and December 2020. During the same period, it spent Two Billion, Three Hundred and Seventy-One Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Five Naira (N2,371,979,005).
Kwara State 2020 Covid-19 spending shown below.