The Chairman Nasarawa State Task Force on COVID-19,The Deputy Governor,Dr.Emmanuel Akabe has tasked members of the fourth estate of the realm to abide by the tenet and norms of Journalism profession instead of reporting sensetional reports.
He disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in his office while reacting over media reports that Task Force on COVID-19 is under investigation by the State legislature.
Urging Journalists in the State to always verify facts before going to the press,he as welle called on the publics to disregard such information as false.
He denied the reports that the State House of Assembly has constituted a committee to probe how the committee on COVID-19 expended half a bilion without anything to show for.
He explained that no committee waa set up to investigate Task Force On COVID-19 over the spending of half billion which was part of donations from phillantropies.
The Chairman of the committee says no dine was diverted from the funds donated by the affluents in and around the State as part of their support to cushion the effect of conoravirus pandemic.
“The Task Force on COVID-19 under my Chairmanship is not under investigation by the State lawmakers”.
“Instead of people to commend us for our commitment,probity and accountability they are condenming us for God sake”.
While answering question on the rumor making round that the committee collected the sum of N700m as donation from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control he said that the information is not true, however confided that the State would soon access a whooping N100m.
“The only fund we are expecting was the N100m we are about signing the Memorandum of Understanding.
According to Akabe,”people should get this clear,after we submitted the report of the committee on COVID-19: l suggtested that House of Assembly should constitute a commitee because as matter of fact coronavirus has come to stay with us .whether we like it or not.
“What we want is that we want the committee to be broad,That is from House of Assembly committee just like any other committee,extended to traditional rulers and religious leaders”.
The Deputy Governor explained that the constituted committee was expected to monitor the activities of Task Foce on COVID-19 in the State,he added
While given the breakdown of funds expended by the committee in the State,he appreciate the committee for her prudency in handling the funds in their coffers.
“Under Agric sector,we spent over N100m on the procurement of palliative
We procured 12 trucks of rice from Olam farms and every truck is over N12m while Olam donated 1 truck to the State Government and every Local Government got one truck each
He in addition says that the Justice sector got whooping N78m ,he however explained that the money was used judiciously for the period of lockdown for over two months.
“The N78,000,000m was used to pay security agencies especially those at checkpoints and other sundry issues.
He said the Ministry of Information,Culture and Tourism was allocated N3.3m for jingles and advertorials.
Ministry of Environment got N21m for fumigation.
Bureau for Information Communication Technology waa allocated N1m for creating website.
Health sector,according to the Deputy Governor,The health sector got over N100m.
“We spent over N100m for the completion of Diagnostic and Research Centre for Disease Control,procurement of televisions,airconditioners to all the existing 6 isolation centres including the one in FMC,Keffi.
“Other expenses include daily feeding of people with positive cases at least thrice a week,procurement of 60,000 PPE’s ,which he said one personal protective equipment cost a total of N45,000 but we got our own cheaper that that amount.
He opined that huge amount of money was spent on the procurement of infrared used for measuring temperature.
He assured the people of the State that very soon testing of coronavirus would be conducted within the State,calling on the people to observed all COVID-19 protocol of stay safe,social distancing,saying coronavirus is real.
The Press Secretary to the Nasarawa State House of Assembly,Jibrin Gwamna in a telephone interview confirmed that the committee set up by the Assembly was to monitor the activites of Task Force on COVID-19 in the State not to probe the committee.
It would be recalled that the State Deputy Governor who double as the Chairman Task Force on COVID-19 gave a vivid details over the spendings of the coronavirus funds recently.
He aporeciate health workers in the State for their unflinching support and commitment.