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COVID-19: PDP labels Nigerian govt’s social intervention programme ‘fraudulent’

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Monday the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the much-hyped social intervention programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government as a total hoax.

The party in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused the Federal Government of fleecing the country through the social incentives program rather than deploying it to benefit the people.

The PDP insisted that the failure of the much-orchestrated COVID-19 social palliatives to reach Nigerians, contrary to claims by the government also validates allegations that the APC has been using ghost beneficiaries to siphon government resources.

The party described as alarming reports that not even a handful of Nigerians has acknowledged receiving any social panacea from government despite claims by officials, of having paid out billions of naira as palliatives to individuals and households.

The statement read: “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how officials of the APC-led administration fraudulently sidestepped extant financial regulations and illegally resorted to cash disbursements, directly by a cabinet minister, instead of using the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cash disbursement facility.

“Such was part of the design to use few unsuspecting Nigerians to circumvent the system, muddle up financial documentation and accountability processes and facilitate the siphoning of a huge chunk of the palliative fund.

“Such practice directly points to a fraudulent diversion of funds by APC leaders, who have been using the same template of the discredited social investment programmes, which had been exposed by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, as a fraud, when she, last year, revealed that the N500bn Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration was not getting to the target beneficiaries.

“More embarrassing is the duplicitous inclusion of the scandalous school feeding programme as an expenditure line even when schools are closed following the social distancing directives; an alarming development that points to the level of corruption in the APC administration.

“The public can now see how the APC-led administration has been using the names of poor Nigerians to loot our national treasury and fritter away billions of naira to finance their wasteful lifestyle while the majority of our citizens wallow in hardship and abject poverty.

“This explains why the APC-led administration has refused to open up on the handling of palliative funds despite huge allegations of fraud and diversion. It also explains why the APC, as a party, has failed to speak up in support of transparency and accountability in the social intervention programmes, even at this perilous time.”

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