Masari advocates judicious use of COVID-19 donations
• CSOs ask FG to provide bailouts for states
• UMTH gets COVID-19 testing lab
Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has called for judicious use of donations received in respect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state.
The state, which has recorded five positive cases, had set up a committee to solicit funds from public and private organisations and individuals.
Headed by the deputy governor, Mannir Yakubu, the committee had reportedly received several donations, with business mogul, Dahiru Mangal, making the highest donation of N100 million.
The House of Assembly members as well as State Executive Council members had pledged certain percentage of their March salaries.
Speaking when he received in his office the North West coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Abbani Garki, the governor said judicious use of the donations would help check spread of the disease.
The Federal Government has been called upon to make bailouts available for state governments to effectively fight the novel coronavirus.
This is even as government has been berated over preferential treatment given to Lagos in the fight the disease.
Concerned Civil Society Organisations in Katsina made the call while briefing newsmen on the issue yesterday.
Chairman of the group, Bishir Dauda, said the funds should be given with conditions attached, to ensure transparent and judicious use of the bailout.
Dauda lamented that it was unjust for the Federal Government to give N10 billion to Lagos alone.
Citing Daura in Katsina, he said the council had been locked down for days, and yet to get any form of succour from any government.
“It is unjust to give Lagos State N10 billion while denying other states of the federation. The so-called palliative measure of the Federal Government is discriminatory, inadequate and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs that handles the coordination and distribution of relief materials is insensitive to the loud cry of Nigerians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has set up a COVID-19 testing laboratory at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Borno State.
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