Niger spends N795m to check spread of Corona Virus,denies FG financial support

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Niger state government says it has so far spent N795 million to check the spread of the deadly Corona Virus (COVID-19) in the state, debunking claims of “receiving huge amount from the federal government for the pandemic.”

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman, state COVID-19 Taskforce, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, disclosed this while fielding questions from members of the Niger State House of Assembly.

Matane, who appeared before the legislature to explain expenditures so far spentin fighting the pandemic in the state, was accompanied by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Maikusidi also explained that N410 million was spent for palliatives.

Giving further details of the committee’s expenditures, Matane said, N85 million was spent as subsidy to ensure stable power supply, while the remaining amount was used for the transportation/movements for taskforce members during the partial lock down.

Other areas the committee spent part of the N795 million, Matane said were for the movement of patients from the local government centres to the isolation centres, providing water, allowances for volunteers, security operatives, front line workers and some members of the task force.

Another N290 million was spent on relevant medicals, to buy Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs), drugs, organize capacity building for some health workers, for risk management communications and as well, travelling of health workers, he added.

He said thehe state taskforce on COVID-19 got N47 million as donations from individuals and cooperate organizations within and outside the state, adding however that the donations had not been touched.

“Everything we have done so far is from the budgetary allocation from the state government.

“We have not received one naira from the federal government, in terms of donations, except the three trucks of rice and 700 jerricans of vegetable oil from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, ”thr SSG further revealed.

The committee chairman further told members of the State House of Assembly that, “the N47 million received from donations from individuals and organizations was intact. “We have not spent a dime from it.”

Duaglobalnews recalls that the state lawmakers had accused the members of the state COVID-19 taskforce committee of acting solo in their operations and not carrying the people, particularly stakeholders along in the on-going fight against Corona Virus.

The member representing Lavun Constituency, Ndagi Baba, had expressed displeasure that no single individual from his constituency received any palliative from the state government for the purpose of the pandemic.

Baba was supported by a member representing Bosso Constituency, Malik Madaki Bosso who in like manner..
He said, “The committee did not carry anyone along, even when the palliatives were provided, no member of this Assembly was involved in its distribution.
“Most of the palliatives given in our constituencies were given from our purse.”

Also, the Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Yabagi Akote, faulted the entire exercise saying he was supposed to be part of the task force committee but was not carried along after the committee, though the committee had bee naugurated.

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