COVID-19: Lawmakers grill Niger Task Force over 

The Niger State House of Assembly and the State Executive are at loggerheads over monies expended to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease.
The Assembly grilled the Chairman of the state COVID-19 Task Force for neglecting the lawmakers.
The members of the House of Assembly also accused the state COVID-19 Task Force for acting solo and not carrying the people along in what they have been doing.
The Secretary of the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, and the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Muhammad Maikunsidi, were invited to the State House of Assembly to explain the activities of the task force.
The Member representing Lavun Constituency, Hon. Ndagi Baba, stated that none of the people of his constituency received any palliative from the state government.
The member representing Bosso Constituency, Hon. 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 (lawmakers) purses.”
The Chairman of the Committee on Health, Hon. Yabagi Akote, who was supposed to be a part of the task force, said he was not carried along ever since they were inaugurated.
While speaking, the Secretary to the Niger State Government, who is also the Chairman COVID-19 Task Force, disclosed that they have expended N795 million so far for COVID-19 activities.
This was as he stated that the State Government has not received any money from the Federal Government for COVID-19 activities.
The SSG disclosed this while fielding questions from members of the state House of Assembly.
He explained: “N410 million was expended for palliatives, N85 million for electricity subsidy, while the remaining amount was expended for transportation of movement of task force members, movement of patients from the local government centres to the isolation centres, providing water, allowances for volunteers, security operatives, frontline workers and some members of the task force.”
Matane further explained that another amount of N290 million was expended for medicals to buy Protective Personal Equipment, drugs, capacity buildings for health workers, risk communication and travelling of health workers.
According to him, the state task force got N47 million as donations from individuals and corporate organisations, stressing that the fund has not been touched.
He 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.
“Only three trucks of rice and 700 jerrycans of vegetable oil from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
“The money received from donations from individuals and organisations is N47 million and the money is still there.
“We have not spent a dime from it.”
The Legislators, while dismissing the State Taskforce Chairman and the Commissioner of Health, said they were not satisfied with their response to majority of their questions.

No comments