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COVID-19 PALLIATIVES IN NIGERIA: ACCOUNTABILITY CHECK

COVID-19 PALLIATIVES IN NIGERIA: ACCOUNTABILITY CHECK

The Coronavirus, popularly termed COVID-19 is an infectious disease, which primarily causes mild to severe respiratory illness in humans, including death.

Nigeria had her first reported case of the Coronavirus infection on the 27th day of February, 2020. The first carrier of the Virus as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health, was said to be an Italian Citizen who then worked in Nigeria. He arrived Nigeria from Italy, where he possibly contacted the infection and was confirmed infected with the Coronavirus by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

Sequel to this turn of event, there was a growing rate of the spread of the Virus as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) made daily reports of the growing spread of the virus, until it culminated to over 68, 000 reported cases with over 1,173 deaths across the states of the Federation, by the 30th day of November, 2020.

 To curtail the further spread of the virus, the Federal Government, in addition to making anyone’s refusal to wear a nose mask an offense punishable by law, a nationwide lock down of non-essential activities and an initial curfew was also announced. These federal orders invariably crippled economic activities and this led to the need of relief items for everyone trapped in the lockdown as a means to mitigate the effects of the loss of commerce and livelihood, suffered by the average Nigerian.

Various news hit the airwaves about the Federal Government’s provision of palliatives, in the form of dry food items, condiments and monthly stipends, for the benefit of everyone and also, extra emoluments for the public health workers and other front liner medical personnel as compensation for the extra work that had to be done during that period and for also, putting their lives at risk.

Citizens’ Gavel undertook an investigation into the distribution of the purported palliatives, provided by the Federal Government to ascertain the widely spread claim that the said relief measures were only heard of, but not seen.

Below are info-graphics, relaying the findings of the investigations carried out by Citizens’ Gavel on Oyo State, the Federal Capital Territory, Niger State and Lagos State as regards the distribution of the widely acclaimed and expected palliatives.

Take a look-

In conclusion, it is safe to say that the palliatives were in short supply, gravely misappropriated and did not achieve its primary aim of mitigating the harsh effects of the Covid19 pandemic and the following lockdown. 

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