The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19) says it has not received any money from the funds donated by the private sector towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, a member of the task force, disclosed this on Friday when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum to give update on the activities of the force in the fight against the pandemic.
Mohammed expressed dismay over reported calls by some non-governmental organisation seeking the probe of the task force over the deployment of funds gathered from the donations.
“We have not received even one kobo; people want us probed for how we spent monies we have not even seen,” he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had similarly called for the disbandment of the task force to be replaced by eminent Nigerians to manage the donations from the private sector and palliatives from the Federal Government.
Mohammed said that such criticisms were unfounded.
“I can say without any fear that as of this moment, the task force has not receive a kobo from anybody.
“The only money we will be able to account for is whatever money we receive from the Federal Government.
“The Nigeria Economy Group-led private sector has said it is not going to give a penny to the task force; it says it will only raise the money and ask us what our needs are,” he explained.
Mohammed said that the task force had already compiled the needs.
“We have asked for more equipment and facilities, especially for those who might test positive to the virus,” he said.
“We anticipate a spike in the number of people that will test positive but there should be no cause for alarm.
“What we need now are equipment and bed facilities where those who have tested positive can be admitted because we do not want a situation where there will be no bed space.
“When people test positive, it depends on the stage. If it is mild, such persons do not need to go to hospital. It can still be managed at the isolation centres.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently said that monetary contributions by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) had totaled up to about N15 billion so far.
According to its spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, the fund, domiciled in an account set up under CACOVID, has so far received donations from 37 donors including individuals, banks and other corporate organisations.