NIGERIA: Archbishop Kaigama Cautions Against Corrupt Use of COVID-19 Response Funds

ABUJA, MARCH 13, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to prevent the corrupt use of resources allocated to control the spread of Coronavirus, a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

His reaction came after Federal Government released N984m towards the COVID-19 response.  The Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has also donated additional N200m to meet the target of N1.6billion set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) required during the exercise.

“This is no time for dilly-dallying or the corrupt use of resources in an attempt to curb the menace. There must be an honest and consistent effort and a unity of purpose to fight and defeat the coronavirus invasion with the same zeal and the determination as the Ebola virus was defeated,” reads a statement he released on Sunday, March 8.

The Archbishop urged Nigerians to be on red alert and the Government to be prompt, put measures in place to ensure the virus is stopped.

“We must take appropriate proactive and concrete precautionary measures to stop the virus. While personal hygiene is imperative, governments must not wait until thousands of people are infected or many lives lost before they engage in a panic reaction,” he said.

“The time for a calculated response to the spreading and increasing attack by the Coronavirus is now. Our authorities should create structures, deploy personnel and resources promptly and effectively,” he added.

While relating to the current global situation on the pandemic, Archbishop Kaigama called on Nigeria to be on red alert saying “there is a saying in Africa that when your brother’s beard catches fire, douse your own with some water to avoid having a similar misfortune,”

Archbishop Kaigama, who is also the President of the Reunion of the Episcopal Conferences of West Africa (RECOWA), assured that the Church would continue to pray that the virus does not spread beyond what it is now and that soon, a correct therapy will be found.