By Onuwa Lucky Joseph
The Lagos State Government, last week, took out two full page ads in some newspapers to publish the names and contributions of those who had supported its fight against Covid 19 via financial and material contributions.
The list, made up of 196 names, include for profit corporate organisations, nonprofit organisations and individuals some of whom donated as low as N1,000. For that N1,000 man, Ojiyi Donald, it was more the heart to give than the might. But he threw in his mite all the same. And that was duly acknowledged by Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu who has, within this tumultuous Covid 19 times, carved the image of vibrant, energetic, solution oriented governor.
It is the example of Lagos State that we would recommend to Cacovid (which incidentally should be the arrowhead for an initiative like this.) Cacovid indeed started out strong, but everything has petered out in the past few months. No real information anymore. The last donor information availed the public by the coalition (info released by the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor) was of sums and materials donated as of April 23rd, 2020.
Now, that is too long ago for a fight that’s taking the lives of Nigerians and making them lose their sources of livelihood. For a disease that has disrupted our very way of life, CACOVID has not done well by keeping information to itself that ought to be in the public domain. What that does is take the steam out from the propulsion that the campaign seemed to be enjoying.
CACOVID now needs to take back the leaf which Lagos had borrowed from it and to get back to doing the transparency thing. The human need to know is a strong need; more so when the money is coming from the people. The people need to know what has come in and what it’s being spent on. Reference the ongoing NDDC matter even though the bulk of that money is natural resources derived. It’s not enough to say Nigerians are not law abiding or to threaten to shut down the country again in view of rising cases of Covid 19. Those moneys given, and we would like to believe, still been given, were to forestall such an occurrence. It’s of utmost importance therefore that account be rendered and in a transparent manner. This is the only way to avoid a CACOVID-gate in future that becomes another hit performance in Nigeria’s 24/7 Theatre of the Absurd.