Thursday , March 30 2023

Covid-19: How ‘Five’ South-South States Spent Over N54B In Five Months At A Period The Virus Had Drastically Reduced 

Secret Reporters 

On the 27th of February 2020, Nigeria confirmed its first case of COVID-19, barely a month after its outbreak in China – specifically in January 2020. It was the case of an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on the 25th of February 2020. He was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). 

The case was confirmed after several health stakeholders had urged the Federal Government to shut its borders to prevent the virus from entering the country. But their calls fell on the usual deaf ears of those in power – you would think it was a premeditated decision because no sane man would leave his door open haven being alerted of danger.  

As a nation whose leaders always sought every opportunity to loot and milk the country of its rich resources, it magnanimously opened its doors wide open for the virus to penetrate to begin the usual sucking of the nation’s wealth, as the leadership refused to declare early lockdown. And so, Nigeria’s ugly share in the virus began after the first case was confirmed. Expectedly, billions began to fly. At the Federal and State level, it became a competition. The more cases you confirm as the head of the ATM of government or agency, the more opportunity you have to pump funds and utilize the chance to starch some under your ‘agbada’. 

Between March and June 2020, the virus raged in the nation, with billions of Naira being exerted at the Federal and State level to curb it. From August the same year, it had reduced drastically, with normalcy returning. The nation continued to pump billions into what became a scam. The situation wasn’t different in the South-South region of the country. 

Data obtained from the Open Treasury Portal by SecretReporters show that from August to December, five out of the six South-South States spent over N54,198,301,263.98 to fight the virus at a time that it had drastically subsided. According to the data, Akwa Ibom State spent N20,421,818,947.8 within the said period, making it the highest spender. 

On its part Cross River State, despite budgeting N400M each for October, November, and December, went ahead to overshoot the budget by gulping N6,019,500,000.00 in three months. 

Apart from Rivers State, below is a breakdown of how the South-South States budgeted and spent funds on COVID-19 in the duration under consideration. 

Delta State

MonthBudget (N)Expenditure (N)

Total Money Spent: 12,846,498,028.29

Edo State

MonthBudget (N)Expenditure (N)

Total Money Spent: 3,863,194,480,58

Akwa Ibom State

MonthBudget (N)Expenditure (N)

Total Money Spent: 20,421,818,947.8

Cross Rivers State

MonthBudget (N)Expenditure (N)

Total Money Spent: 6,019,500,000.00

Bayelsa State

MonthBudget (N)Expenditure (N)

Total Money Spent: 16,464,839,807.28

Meanwhile, as of the time of filing this report, the COVID-19 case report in the mentioned States from the NCDC stood as:

StatesConfirmedOn AdmissionDischargedDeaths
Akwa Ibom467040458644
Cross River842880925

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