Open Alliance, a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) on improving openness and accountability in governance, has called for a forensic audit of the national social register (NSR).
The call comes days after the National Economic Council (NEC) raised issues about the integrity and credibility of the (NSR).
The register by the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), is the database of vulnerable people and households across the country.
The register was created by the Muhammadu Buhari administration for cash transfers and other social investment programmes.
On July 20, the National Economic Council (NEC) dumped the national social register used by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to implement N1.358 trillion conditional cash transfer in eight years over credibility issues and agreed that states should develop their registers using formal and informal means.
Reacting to the development, NASSCO said NSR is an aggregation of state registers.
In a statement issued on Friday by Bolarinwa Iyanuoluwa, Open Alliance national coordinator, expressed concern about the effectiveness of the whole scheme.
Iyanuoluwa on behalf of the CSOs, said a forensic audit of the register is needed to determine its authenticity and “give Nigerians the details of the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries on the register”.
The Open Alliance also charged the government to uncover if the people in charge of the register have “siphoned the country’s public funds and determine the consequences of this is true”.
The coalition added that to bridge the trust gap between the government and its citizens, an independent body must immediately carry out a forensic audit, and the government must make public the criteria for determining the eligibility for inclusion, and provide clarity on the selection process.
The statement reads: “Open Alliance believes open and transparent governance is fundamental to building a solid and equitable society. By conducting a forensic audit and being transparent about the criteria and selection process, we can safeguard the interests of citizens and uphold the principles of fairness and accountability.”
It called on NEC to respond quickly to the concerns raised to enable an inclusive and transparent disbursement of the palliatives for poor and vulnerable Nigerians.