The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says 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.
PDP said APC leaders and the cabal have been fleecing the nation through the social incentives rather than deploying same to benefit the people.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Monday said the failure of the COVID-19 social palliatives to reach Nigerians, contrary to claims by the APC-led administration, also validates allegations that the APC has been using ghost beneficiaries to siphon government resources.
The party described as alarming and revealing the news that not even a handful of Nigerians have acknowledged receipt of any social panacea from the government despite claims by officials that billions of naira have been paid out as palliatives to individuals and households.
“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.”
PDP noted that Nigerians 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 citizens were 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.”
PDD added that APC leaders were falling over themselves and stampeding the National Assembly for anticipatory approval of N500 billion for yet to be itemized social palliative measures.
The opposition restated its call on the National Assembly to properly scrutinize the request and ensure proper monitoring of spending.