The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has received a seven-day ultimatum to make public the total number of COVID-19 funds and material donations received from local and international organisations from February to April this year. Since February when the first Coronavirus index case, an Italian, was discovered in Nigeria, funds from Governments, individuals and corporate organisations have continued to trickle in.
In a Freedom of Information letter of request sent to the CBN this week, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) said the apex bank has the moral and constitutional obligations to make known to the public the total numbers of funds received. It said without any promoting, the CBN should have been releasing to the public the figure of any fund received on behalf of the people of Nigeria.
In pursuit of its demand, HEDA Resource Centre has sent a Freedom of Information request to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele urging him to release the figures within seven days. The FOI request signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju said his group wants a comprehensive breakdown of financial donations received towards responding to COVID 19 as at April 20 this year.
The group also wants CBN to indicate the names of the donors (individual, corporate and international organizations), date of donation, source(s) of the donations, the amount contributed by each individual and corporate body.
“The CBN holds resources in trust for the people. The Bank needs to set standards in line with global best practices. The receipt of funds in the form of donations either in cash or in material forms should be done in an open and transparent manner. We want to see the CBN act in accordance with a culture of accountability which should be the hallmark of business transactions in Nigeria,” Suraju said.