As the world battles Corona Virus to a standstill, the various governors in Nigeria have declared billions spent in combating the epidemic without accounting to the citizens the process it was spent.
In Delta State, the oil-rich governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa has joined the list of billionaire fighting governors with less than 2000 cases of COVID-19 patients. In the reviewed budget for 2020 which has been approved by the State House of Assembly but yet to be signed into law by the Governor, SecretReporters can authoritatively report that Mr Okowa has budgeted a whopping sum of N2 billion for COVID without a breakdown of how he intends to spend it. This was budgeted under the Ministry of Health.
In a swift move, another sum of N500 million was also budgeted for palliative measures under budget line 0111320017 domiciled under the office of the Secretary to the State Government. Both funds were tagged as COVID Response Projects in the revised budget.
This N500 million which will be spent again is not inclusive of the over N500 million initially spent in the heat of the lockdown, where some companies were selected without due process and given contracts to supply bags of beans, rice and other edible at inflated prices as seen in various documents which we are still studying in our newsroom.
Earlier, the sewing of the face masks shared in the state by the government was mainly handled by a tailoring house called Signature Secret, which is owned by the wife to the governor’s brother, Mr Solomon Okowa for five hundred Naira each, while few other fashion houses were given the sum of two hundred Naira each to sew the same face mask, according to our sources.
Meanwhile contrary to claims by the State Government that some persons within the government circles caught COVID-19 including civil servants, information made available to us revealed that the statement is far from the truth as results were just imposed on them after carrying out the test. Most of those who were reported as having the sickness were never isolated but went to their houses to relax, make phone calls and enjoyed the pleasures of the world. According to dependable sources, when they argued with the medics who carried out the test, they were shouted on and given Vitamin C, Zinc and two other drugs to take home. Till the two weeks were over, they confided in us that they never took the drugs only to go back for test and were declared COVID-19 free, with jubilation over the state.