By Omolabake Fasogbon
The Association of Forensic Accounting Researchers (AFAR), has called for forensics audit of cash donations coming from both corporate and foreign organisations to support Nigeria in the fight against Coronavirus pandemic.
The association said that this was necessary to monitor and ensure accountability and transparency in the utilisation of the funds.
The association decried that the whole process of fighting the pandemic had been shrouded in secrecy, most especially, areas that had to do with spendings.
It further expressed fear that the virus might extend more than expected in the country as a result of corruption in the response process.
It worried that lack of accountability and transparency would not only heighten public pessimism on the outcome of the fight against the pandemic but posed a great danger to an already frail economy.
President of AFAR, Prof. Godwin Oyedokun, an anti-fraud expert believed that COVID-19 was product of corruption and urged Nigeria not to counter it with deception if it was willing to defeat the health challenge as soon as possible.
“Corruption has so much enmeshed the system that it has become more prominent in a period of emergency when no one can determine the future.
“Already, our health system has failed us, our emergency response to the pandemic has equally not fared well.
The whole process has been battered by breaches of anti-corruption standard such as cutting of corners in procurement processes, pocketing of donations and inflation of COVID-19 cases amongst others.
“This invariably has led individuals in charge to enrich their own personal pocket at the detriment of the citizen; hence, we continue to hear reports of patients fleeing isolation centres and protest of poor health care.”
He noted that while the pandemic had caused both public and private sectors to reinvent, innovate and alter business strategies, it must be sustained to enable quick recovery of the economy after the crisis.
The Chairman of AFAR Governing Council, Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, also added that present situation had assisted the economy in blocking the doors to money laundering, unnecessary travels as well as loud the need to improve the health system.
He said that government must strive to ensure that the economy was guarded against unnecessary spendings even after the pandemic to harness both short and long term gains.