Niger earmarks N300m for palliatives on COVID-19
From Isa Dangana, Minna
Niger State Government has approved and earmarked about N400 million to battle coronavirus and provide palliatives to cushion hardship on the people resulting from lockdown of the state and other measures taken by government to curb the spread of the virus, the chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, Ahmad Ibrahim Matane, has said.
Matane, who is also the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), stated this while briefing journalists on the activities of the taskforce in Minna recently.
He explained that N300 million of the amounts will be used for palliatives for the people suffering from the lockdown of the state especially the vulnerable members of the society.
According to him, government has already released N74 million to the state Ministry of Health and Hospital Services for the procurement of medical facilities necessary in handling the virus, while 12 isolation centres have also been created across the eight Emirate councils of the state.
He said government has procured two more ventilators to beef up the total number in the state to 11, including sanitizers, face masks, examination cloves and oxygen concentrator and oxygen delivery system.
Matane announced a donation of N28.5 million by United Bank for Africa (UBA) to the state covid-19 appeal fund, adding: “The government of Peoples Republic of China donated items to help curb the spread of Corona Virus in the state worth N6 million. This includes examination hand cloves, sodium hypochlorite, and infrared thermometer among others.”
On the palliatives, the chairman said that food items, including gari, rice, beans and millet would be procured and distributed through the 274 political wards of the state.
He said: “Government will ensure that the food items are not hijacked by few individuals. We are aware that everybody is affected by the situation, but we are focusing on the less privileged and vulnerable persons.
“We are therefore going to ensure effective distribution of whatever is available to the people at the rural communities and this is the reason for using the wards as contact points.”