The League of Women Voters of Nigerian, NILOWV, has urged the Federal Government to review the modalities of disbursement of the coronavirus pandemic intervention palliatives to enable it get to the grassroot.
In a statement signed by its President, Rt. Hon. Dame Dr. Esther Uduehi, she stated that “The League of Women Voters of Nigerian (NILOWV) is a Nonpartisan, Non-Religious and Non Sectional Non-Governmental Organization with active presence in the 36 States of Nigeria including the FCT. We have one of the most functional grassroots women networks in Nigeria. We do have a consultative status with the UN ECOSOC and has been working with other Agencies and Charities including ACTIONAID and other development partners to better the plight of Nigeria women.
The statement continues “Arising from our online networking consultations and appraisal of the ongoing Federal Government’s intervention packages and funds released to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians; we make bold to say that we have no positive feedback from the grassroot women that any palliative was received from the government and therefore wonder who the beneficiaries are.
“NILOWV is using this release to condemn the method of distribution and disbursement. With several billions of Naira claimed to have been spent on this course, NILOWV is asking questions on how the money and relief items was distributed across the country. How many states got what? What parameters were used to arrive at the sharing formular and who are the stakeholders or civil society organizations who participated in the exercise.
“Was it supposed to be a party affair? Is the relief for only some selected Nigerians? What percentage of Nigeria women as burden bearers benefited from the package? We will be ready to mobilize Nigerian Women to pray for those who may want to divert the fund and relief materials that Corona Virus will follow any embezzled money into their homes. Anyone thinking of profiting from this type of affliction is wicked and ungodly.
“We therefore call on the Federal Government to re-plan and review the current modalities used so that the palliative can get to the grassroots as desired. More grassroot based CSOs and NGOs should be involved. We believe the palliative should not be placed under the state governors to avoid it being politicized but rather be a complement to state efforts.
“NILOWV being a grassroots organization with coverage in all LG Areas of Nigeria will be willing to support these efforts with our structures and could be a tool to easily access some category of women who actually needed to be empowered. These categories of Women are directly affected by the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic and are as identified; Women who engage in Agriculture (farmers) as a means of livelihood. Women who trade in Agricultural produce such as Garri, Fruits, Vegetables and other perishables.
“Women who roast Corn, Yam, Plantain, and Fish etc. for a living, Women working in the health sector who are not given gloves masks and sanitizers by the government but must work under the present dangerous conditions. Women who are heavily pregnant or who put to bed during this period, Women who depend solely on the environment to fuel their daily meals, Women who trade in foodstuffs, i.e. transportation of cash crops from the farm to the markets.
“Once again we appreciate government efforts and believe that if well harnessed, help will reach the poor masses of this nation who are really in need.”