· Says was in self-isolation ‘as a precaution’
· Govt awaits outcome of investigation of UITH
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday launched the Federal Government’s conditional cash transfer to 25000 households in the state, with beneficiary getting at least 20,000 each.
“Today, I flag off the disbursement of conditional cash transfer initiative of the Federal Government to 25,000 households in Kwara. Each benefiting household is to get N20,000 cumulatively for the months of January, February, March and April,” AbdulRazaq said on Monday, well over two weeks since he was last seen in public.
“This is to assist the poor in this time of global pandemic when our people are asked to stay at home to halt the spread of the virus. I commend the Federal Government for increasing the number of CCT beneficiaries in Kwara from 10,000 to 25,000. I commend the Federal Government for increasing the number of CCT beneficiaries in Kwara from 10,000 to 25,000. I especially thank Mr. President for this gesture as well as the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for their efforts in coordinating theses actions at this crucial time.
“This complements the measures taken by our administration in order to alleviate the consequences caused by the pandemic and the restriction of movement resulting from it. At the moment, relief materials consisting mainly of food items are being distributed at the ward level by independent committees comprising traditional rulers, religious leaders and community-based organisations. I welcome civil society and media groups to monitor this process to ensure transparency and accountability. My administration will be available to receive feedback and reports through appropriate channels.
“All of these measures clearly underscore government’s good faith and commitment to the welfare of the people. But much more crucial is a need for all of us to be responsible and not endanger ourselves and others. Let us stay at home and maintain social distancing until it is safe to resume normal life.”
AbdulRazaq said he proceeded into self isolation shortly after returning from the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja in full compliance with the safety protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on COVID-19.
“Until now, I have remained in self-isolation shortly after returning from the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja on March 19. This is in keeping faith with the COVID-19 Protocol that requires anyone with probable exposure to the virus, especially after travel to frontline areas, to either self-isolate for 14 days incubation period or get tested to know their status. AlihamduliLlah, I am fine as I have always been.”
The Governor, who departed the event to do an on-the-spot assessment of the Sobi Specialist Hospital which houses the state isolation centre, said Kwara had long started preparing for any eventuality on COVID-19.
He added however that no preparation is enough because even countries with better facilities and wherewithal are also fine tuning their strategies and getting more facilities to cope with the pandemic.
Asked to comment on the UITH incident of suspected corona virus case, AbdulRazaq said the controversies arose because of lack of full disclosures by the affected parties — something he observed was a breach of protocol.
AbdulRazaq said the government awaits the outcome of the internal investigation of the incident by the UITH before taking further steps “even though our own committee has immediately sprung into action which included contact tracing and isolation of all persons believed to have had contact with the deceased.”
The Governor repeated that samples have also been taken and results are being awaited as at Monday morning.
“We have done six tests before now that turned out to be negative. We are awaiting some other results shortly. However, I must say that only the NCDC is empowered to make pronouncement in the event of anything,” he added.
Head of Unit of the National Cash Transfer Office Hajia Amina Bagudu said the payment to the beneficiaries gulp a total of N550,405,000 including “some arrears and top up.”