Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday asked the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to immediately release the sum of N620m to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to stem the Coronovirus outbreak.
The money is said to be an amount budgeted by the federal government on emergency response for the fight against COVID-19 outbreak.
Lawan had led the leadership of the Senate on a tour of the Isolation Centres located at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Assistant on media (Press), Isreal Tabiowo said Lawan inspected two facilities in the area.
However, he bemoaned the lack of preparedness and expressed frustration at the state of the isolation centres which are yet to be completed.
Lawan said: “First of all, let me say that the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the management of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital are in high spirits, looking determined to discharge their mandates and obligations.
“But from our inspection here, the temporary isolation centre is really not in good shape, it doesn’t look ready to receive any patient, and I believe that this is something that we need to fix between now and tomorrow.
“We are in an emergency, even if we don’t have people who are affected, we shouldn’t just rest on our oars. We have to do everything and anything possible to fix that temporary isolation centre to be prepared to receive anyone who falls sick in this respect.
“I am sad, we are indeed actually sad, that of the N620 million that was supposed to be released to this place for fixing of everything here to NCDC, not a kobo has been released.
“We are going to get across to the Minister of Finance and all the other authorities that have anything to do with this to release this money latest between today and tomorrow.
“As leaders given responsibilities, we have to do what is right. This is unfortunate. So, the Ministry of Finance should release the N620 million between today and tomorrow,” he stated.
Solomon Ayado, Abuja
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