The Oyo State government has revealed that it has so far spent the sum of N2.7 billion in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Akinola Ojo, who is also a member of the COVID-19 Task Force in a statement on Tuesday said it was necessary to inform the public on the expenses on the pandemic.
“In line with the principle of transparency and accountability, which the administration of Engineer Seyi Makinde is known for, it is imperative, especially at this time, that we inform the good people of Oyo State on the amount we have realised so far by your contributions and the expenses incurred in the fight against the global enemy, COVID-19.
“Oyo State recorded its first index case on March 20, 2020. The COVID-19 Task Force, headed by Governor Makinde, was constituted for partnership. As of today, we have received a cash donation totalling N378 million from the citizens of Oyo State, well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations. I must appreciate all of you who have donated.
“These donations are publicly available on Oyo State government website and they are regularly updated.
“In terms of expenses and the breakdown, as a state and, as of today, we have spent N2,779,000,000. A breakdown of these expenses shows that we have spent N900 million to provide for palliatives to the indigent amongst us and also provide palliatives to the farmers in the form of seedlings.
“The plan of the governor is to set up four world-class isolation centres across the regions of the state. And this, without doubt, has come with a cost. We have set up the Olodo Isolation Centre, which is a word class facility. We are in the process of setting up isolation centres in Saki, Ogbomoso and Igbo Ora. All we need to actualise these has been set aside and included in the cost of roughly N2.8billion that has been spent this far.
“We have also been able to provide security by securing the state borders, which has cost us N450 million. We provided security trucks and the cost of personnel.
“I must say that health workers have not been neglected because they are the frontline staff who are fighting against this virus. So, we have been able to pay their volunteer and hazard allowances in June and backdated to March. We are going to pay the hazard allowance of all the health workers from March up until June. So, this just gives you a brief analysis of how much we have spent so far on COVID-19 pandemic in Oyo State.
“On Olodo, we spent a total of N370 million, which forms part of the cost we spent in upgrading the centre and also the personnel cost incurred so far. We have also spent N453 million on security of the state borders. We have spent another N118 million in supporting UCH, a partner that is supporting us in testing coronavirus patients. We spent an additional N900 million on palliatives and for provision of seedling to farmers that were affected.
“We have spent N321 million in buying ambulances for the Ministry of Health to support the fight. On other items like supply of reagents, body kits, we have spent a total of N614 million. If you have all that up, it will give you a total of N2,779,000,000” Ojo said.