We spent N795m to check spread of Coronavirus –Niger govt

...denies receiving financial support from Nigerian govt
By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna

Niger state government says it has so far spent N795 million to check the spread of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
The state government also debunked claims of receiving huge amount from the federal government for the pandemic.
Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) and chairman of the state COVID-19 Taskforce, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmed Matane, disclosed this while fielding questions from members of the Niger State House of Assembly.

Matane appeared before the legislature to explain expenditures so far for fighting the pandemic in the state, accompanied by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Maikusidi.
He explained that N410 million was spent for palliatives.
Giving further details of the committee’s expenditures, Matane said that N85 million was spent to ensure stable power supply as subsidy, while the remaining amount was used for the transportation/movements for taskforce members during the partial lockdown.
Other areas the committee spent part of the N795 million, Matane said, was 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 taskforce.

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.
The state taskforce on COVID-19 got N47 million as donations from individuals and cooperate organizations within and outside the state, Ibrahim Matane said, 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”.
The committee chairman further told members of the State House of Assembly that, “The money received from donations from individuals and organizations is N47 million and the money is still there. We have not spent a dime from it”.
Meanwhile, members of the State House of Assembly had accused 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 coronavirus.
Member representing Lavun Constituency, Ndagi Baba, expressed displeasure that no single individual from his constituency received any palliatives from the state government while the pandemic lasted.
Ndagi was supported by a member representing Bosso Constituency, Malik Madaki Bosso, who in like manner said, “You did not carry anyone along, even when the palliatives were provided, no member of this Assembly 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 Taskforce Committee but he was not carried along after they had been inaugurated.

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