By Sola Ogundipe
The Lagos Civil Society Participation for Development, LACSOP (formerly Lagos State Civil Society Partnership) has called on the Lagos State Government to publish a detailed breakdown of the expenditure on COVID-19 palliatives in the state.
Making the demand during a conversation on Twitter that featured the launch of an assessment of COVID-19 Pandemic Palliatives in Lagos State, participants in the conversation called for what they described as “clarity of expression and documentation” which they said is paramount.
Calling on the State government to demonstrate accountability, the groups observed that distribution of the COVID-19 palliatives in the State lacked proper coordination even as they alleged that many things went wrong at various distribution points.
In the assessment, jointly produced by LACSOP, BudgIT Foundation, and Socio-Economic Rights and Protection, SERAP, with support from Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) programme of the British Council, the State government owed it to the citizens to be accountable for their welfare.
The assessment noted that: “Politicians hijacked the packages at the local level; distributions were done outside available data and there were no objective criteria for identifying vulnerable persons.
“It was discovered that the quality of food distributed and food portions were small; absence of a collaborative and inclusive coordinating body for the distributions and COVID-19 safety rules were flouted during distributions.”
Participants who joined in the conversation also demanded that the Lagos State government should be accountable and transparent.
According to a commentator: “Perhaps one way to ensure proper accounting is to open the Registry to allow LACSOP to have access to the state government for transparency.“
Another commentator suggested: “One thinks that lessons have been learned on how to harmonise data and use the same for effective planning and human development”.
Responding to the database used in sharing the palliatives, another commentator on twitter God’s time Ikumapai, Ward Health Committee (WHC) Lagos Alliance Chairman commended the state government but noted that more needed to be done to ensure everyone is carried along. “Great stride, but the method of getting the main beneficiaries should be looked into and improved upon,” he said.