The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the much-hyped social intervention programme of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government as a total hoax.
The PDP, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, claimed 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 party said the “failure of the much-orchestrated COVID-19 social palliatives to reach Nigerians” contrary to claims by the APC-led administration, also validated allegations that the APC has been using ghost beneficiaries to siphon government resources.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how officials of the APC-led administration fraudulently side-stepped extant financial regulations and illegally resorted to cash disbursements, directly by a cabinet minister, instead of using 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 huge chunk of the palliative fund.
“Such practice directly points to 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 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,” the party said.