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Cross River denies receiving COVID-19 donation from NIMASA

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Cross River State Government has rejected donations from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to help in the fight against Coronavirus.

The agency had in a letter signed by its Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh dated April 1, 2020 with reference: NIMASA2020/DG/CRS/VOL.1/01 to the state governor, Ben Ayade said: “NIMASA sends its compliments to Your Excellency and notes with concern the global health challenge (COVID-19) with a recognition of your efforts in handling the issue in your state.

“As part of the Agency’s input to aid your efforts, kindly find attached a list of items donated to your state, as we hope this will support your measures in militating against the pandemic…”

The Guardian learnt that items rejected included two 16-seater Coaster busES and one Fast Intervention Marine Vessels (volunteered for the period); one ventilator, three oxygen concentrator; 50 PPE; rapid test kit containing 25 test strips each (for 250,000 tests) and 50 hand sanitisers.

Reacting, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, said: “We received nothing from NIMASA. The agency told us if we could rent buses and boats, it would pay. It wanted to give us ventilators and one other stuff, and not to donate a bus or vehicle or a boat. That was the case. We have 50 vehicles bought by the state government…”

Edu, who is also the Chairman of the State COVID-19 Taskforce Committee added: “We have vehicles for surveillance. We have also been able to find our way around getting a boat working with the police and other agencies.”


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