The Niger state government has claimed that it has expended N795 million so far for COVID-19 activities and not have received any money from the Federal government for such activities in the state.
The Chairman of the state COVID-19 Taskforce and Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane made this known while fielding questions from members of the state House of Assembly yesterday in Minna.
The Secretary of the State government and the Commissioner of Health, Dr Muhammad Maikusidi were invited to the House of Assembly to explain the activities of the task force committee.
Matane said that N410 million was expended for 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.
Matane also revealed that another amount of N290 million was expended for medicals to buy Protective Personal Equipment (PPEs), drugs, capacity buildings for health workers, risk communication and travelling of health workers.
Consequently, the state taskforce got N47 million as donations from individuals and cooperate organizations stressing that the fund has not been touched.
“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, only the three trucks of rice and 700 jerricans of vegetable oil from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“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,” he stated.
The members of the House of Assembly accused the state COVID-19 taskforce committee of acting solo and not carrying the people along in the activities of the Programme.
The Member representing Lavun Constituency, Honorable Ndagi Baba stated that none of the people of his constituency received any palliatives from the state government.
The member representing Bosso Constituency, Honorable Malik Madaki Bosso said, “you did not carry anyone along. Even when the palliatives were provided, there was no member of this Assembly involved in it. Most of the palliatives given in our constituencies were given from our purse.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Health, Honorable Yabagi Akote said he was supposed to be part of the task force committee but he was not carried along after they had been inaugurated.
The Legislators while dismissing the State Taskforce Chairman and the Commissioner of Health said they were not satisfied with their response and explanations to the majority of their questions asked.