KOGI: The Kogi State Government has denied the rumour making the round that it spent N7 billion naira to construct an isolation centre for COVID-19 cases.
The isolation center, located at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, was reportedly damaged by a storm on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
According to a statement issued on Saturday, April 2, 2020 by Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, it said the isolation centre was built for Lassa Fever patients and not for COVID-19 cases.
His words, “The attention of the Kogi State Government has been drawn to misinformation doing the round that government allegedly spent 7 billion naira to put in place an Isolation Center at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja that was damaged by storm a few days ago,” the statement read.
“The desperate rumor and falsehood peddlers even went further to attribute the statement to the Executive Governor of the State.
“The Isolation Centre at the Federal Medical Center was built for Lassa Fever for the institution by the State Government. The Federal Medical Center approached the State Government to help them put in place an Isolation Centre where Lassa Fever patients could be kept before their transfer to Management Centres.
“It was never meant for COVID-19 and it is unfortunate that some falsehood merchants are peddling ridiculous figures around as the cost of the centre. Can the rumor peddlers produce the contract papers or even the evidence of the Governor’s statement to that effect?”
The Commissioner stated further that the state does not have such resources to expend on building an isolation centre, saying the state is however prepared for “any eventuality”.
Fanwo added that the state’s isolation centres for COVID-19 are in Fareec Clinic, Lokoja; Confluence Diagnostic Centre, Lokoja, and a clinic donated to the state in Ankpa.
He stressed that, ”China, the epicenter of the Virus didn’t even spend that much to construct an Isolation Center. Not even Lagos, that is the epicenter of COVID-19 in Nigeria has spent such amount on Isolation Centres,” Fanwo said.
“Kogi doesn’t have such resources and even if we do, they shall be expended on infrastructure and economic expansion program that have been the hallmarks of the Governor Yahaya Bello administration.
“The State Government is committed to the health perspective of COVID-19 instead of the commercial angle.
“We call on those sharing the falsehood to reevaluate their rationality and hearken to the need for all men and women of goodwill to come together at this critical time to defeat the virus.”
He however noted that the contractor who handled the project has been called to fix the damaged isolation centre.
The state government however said that it has not recorded any case of COVID-19.