Anti-corruption network questions distribution of palliatives in FCT

The Minister of State FCTA, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu has continued to flag off distributions across the area councils of the FCT.

According to her, all area councils will be receiving a hundred thousand bags of rice and the same number of bags of condiments (Maggi, tomato paste, beans, salt, sugar, garri, semovita and oil) each, as part of the FCTA’s measure to cushion the impact of the stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus in the FCT.

So far, Abaji, Kwali and Kuje have all received and shared their allotted items, which according to the Minister, is a 100,000 bags each in all area councils.

While Abaji and Kwali have recorded a fairly equitable distribution among community members, according to the reports from an anti-corruption network monitoring the exercise , the process in Kuje has failed at ensuring equal distribution, either in the quantity of items given to each household or in determining the beneficiaries of the palliatives.

Similarly, the process of distribution has been less commendable.

According to the report signed by the Co-convener of Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu, Materials for each ward was handed over to their councillors who failed to communicate to community members on the modalities for sharing or when to begin actual distribution to members.

After a long wait by Community members in their houses and others in open fields, in some wards, the councillors and other distribution officials finally began sharing randomly reducing the content of the packages and prioritizing indigenes.

Non-indigenes who are resident in Kuje were reportedly discriminated against.

This was because according to the report, the distribution officials realized the items were not sufficient for the entire households in their wards.

This, according to Mr Nwagwu, brings to question the credibility of the process of distribution, as it raises issues of transparency and accountability with the palliative items received.

Mr Nwagwu argued that beyond the Minister’s announcement of 100 thousand bags of rice and 100 thousand bags of condiments, there were no known means of proving or verifying the actual number delivered or distributed in each area councils.

It has also been observed that the relief items were not distributed based on the beneficiary list earlier drafted, which was meant to document the most vulnerable in the community.

This list was discarded, hence, indiscriminate sharing was carried out initially and later restricted to the indigenes.

To the anti-corruption group, this is highly unacceptable and this method of discrimination should not be tolerated in any community of the FCT or in the country especially at this time.

Mr Nwagwu, therefore, called on the Minister of State to take extra care to ensure that palliative items are not politicized.

He advocated clear modalities for distribution to be forwarded and monitored to ensure due compliance, equity and justice throughout the process of the distribution of the palliative items.

The distribution is expected to continue in other area councils.

Victorson Agbenson

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