Governor Sani Bello spends N795m to combat COVID-19, legislators kicks

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Niger State Government has declared that it has expended N795 million so far to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the State.

Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane who is also Chairman of the state COVID-19 Taskforce disclosed this while answering questions from members of the state House of Assembly who had invited him along with the state

The total amount spent so far according to Matane was from the coffers of the state government as no amount of money has been received from the Federal government.

He also noted that the sum of N47 million has been received from corporate organisations and individuals which is still intact in the Bank.

The SSG said, “everything we have done is from the budgetary allocation from the state government. We have not received one naira from the Federal government in terms of monetary donations except the three trucks of rice and 700 jerricans of vegetable oil received from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

“The money received from donations from individuals and organizations is N47 million which we have not spent. The total amount is still intact,” he declared.

Matane further explained that N410 million was spent on palliatives, N85 million for electricity subsidy, while the remaining amount was expended for transportation of movement of taskforce members, 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.

The further breakdown according to him include: N290 million for medicals to buy Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs), drugs, capacity buildings for health workers, risk communication, and travelling of health workers.

However, members of Niger State House of Assembly descended heavily on members of the COVID-19 Taskforce accusing them of secrecy in the discharge of their assignment saying they did not carry anybody along.

Member representing Lavun Constituency, Honorable Ndagi Baba made it clear that investigation carried out in his Constituency shows that none of the people of his constituency received any palliatives from the state government.

Member representing Bosso Constituency, Honorable Malik Madaki Bosso also accused the members of not carrying anybody along in the discharge of their duties thus making it look like a secret organisation.

“You did not carry anyone along. Even when the palliatives were provided, there was no member of this Assembly involved. Most of the palliatives given in our constituencies were given from our purse,” he declared.

Chairman of the Committee on Health, Honorable Yabagi Akote said he was supposed to be part of the task force committee but he was sidelined totally since they were inaugurated.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Makunsidi also briefed the House on the activities of the TaskForce.

Others who also contributed said they were not satisfied with the submission of the Taskforce.