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Akwa Ibom decries absence of COVID-19 test centre

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Speakers caution colleagues against abuse of financial autonomy

Governor Udom Emmanuel at the weekend regretted that in spite of Akwa Ibom’s ‘25 per cent’ contribution to Nigeria’s revenue, the Federal Government was yet to prioritise setting a COVID-19 test centre in the state.

Speaking during a live programme in Uyo, the governor stated that Akwa Ibom was tired of begging the Federal Government, and had therefore decided to establish a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory, adding that the facility was nearing completion.

His words: “We have also waited on the Federal Government to no end. We have waited, hoping that by today, a state that sits on at least 25 per cent of the gas reserves of this country deserves at least one test centre.

“As I am talking to you right now, it is nearing completion. We are going to make it of international standard. Trust, if it is not, WHO (World Health Organisation) would not certify it. We would not start testing there until we are certified by WHO. Thereafter, we will bring in the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) to certify.”

Emmanuel hinted that the state-of-art isolation centre at Ituk Mbang would be commissioned this week. The governor added he would soon meet with the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to work out modalities for the reopening of churches shut in the wake of the pervasive coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, Speaker the state House of Assembly, Aniekan Bassey, has cautioned his colleagues against abusing the Executive Order No 10 by President Muhammadu Buhari granting financial autonomy to the legislative and judicial arms of government in the country.

Warning against what he described as ‘legislative rascality’ in a statement y his Chief Press secretary, Emmanuel Effiong in Uyo, the speaker said the move should rather be seen as fortification of co-operation among the three tiers of government.

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