PTF has spent nearly N3bn out of N22bn for COVID-19, says Aliyu

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Sani Aliyu, national coordinator of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, says about 80 percent of the N22 billion received to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has not been spent.

The federal government had announced earlier in September that it spent N30.5 billion, representing 84 percent of the N36.3 billon public funds and donations received, to respond to COVID-19 between April 1 and July 31.

Aliyu, at a media briefing on Monday, gave a brief explanation of how the N3 billion spent so far by the PTF was disbursed.

He said security agencies, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the ministry of foreign affairs have received funds from the PTF.

“The PTF budget is divided into two. We have money that is coming from the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs); it goes as part of their normal 2020 budget. Then, we have money that’s coming from a special intervention fund that was given to PTF,” he said.

“N22 billion was given to the PTF as the first tranche. Of that N22 billion, we paid N1.2 billion to the security agencies; N250 million to the federal ministry of foreign affairs for the evacuees; we had operational cost to some of the MDAs, but in total we’ve spent nearly N3 billion.

“We still have about N19 billion, of which N8.4 million was given out as procurement by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); that was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“So, we still have more than 70 percent or 80 percent of the money we were given — the first tranche — and we’re already almost six months into the response.

“Hopefully we will not have to go back to government for a huge tranche of money going into the next six months. And as you are aware, we’ve had tremendous support from the private sector, from the UN single basket, etc.”

Aliyu noted that information would also be provided on the PTF’s expenses “from week to week or month to month”.

“We still have a lot of funds that we hope to reprogramme over the next three months to make sure that they are spent diligently. So, I wouldn’t worry too much if it is money,” he added.

Nigeria confirmed its index case of COVID-19 on February 27, 2020; as of September 13, a total of 56,256 people have contracted the virus, out of which 44,152 patients have recovered.

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