Sani Aliyu, national coordinator of the presidential task force on COVID-19, says so far, N169 million has been spent on Nigerians who were evacuated from different countries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking when he featured on a Channels Television programme on Tuesday, Aliyu said the PTF has been judicious in spending funds meant for tackling coronavirus pandemic.
He said N22 billion has been released to the PTF but the fund is still with the accountant-general of the federation.
“At the PTF, we have a multisectoral responsibility. We have a host of ministries and departments that are part of the PTF and people are given responsibility in terms of their budget line. They then make report and provide us with evidence in terms of whether they have procured or they have spent money,” he said.
“And that level of evidence needs to be the same level of evidence which they need to pay and we would then give recommendation to the accountant general to pay the money.
“At the moment as far as I know, only N169 million or so was spent by the ministry of foreign affairs on evacuation of Nigerians mainly on air accommodation.
“We have got about N22 billion that was released to the PTF and just to make it clear, the PTF is not a procuring body.
“At the moment, that is like 0.002% and the reason why we haven’t spent so much is because of the need for prudence in the first place. A lot of MDAs are yet to do their procurement and a lot of MDAs are still using their 2020 budgets for their activities and as far as I am concerned, there is no problem here.
“We are in a pandemic situation so we are making sure that the resources we have are being used appropriately.
“The N22 billion we talked about us still with the account general and as far as we are concerned in the PTF, we would make sure that whatever funds we are provided with for the purpose of the coronavirus pandemic are used judiciously. But more importantly, we would see if there is evidence and if the right thing has been done.”
On May 8, about 300 Nigerian evacuees from UK arrived at the airport in Lagos on a British Airways flight.
About two weeks later, the federal government evacuated 292 Nigerians from Saudi Arabia.
A total of 268 Nigerians evacuated from China also landed in the federal capital territory (FCT) on May 30.
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