We spent N28.5bn on COVID-19 response —FCT minister

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has cost the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) a whopping N28.5 billion in response measures, the FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello has said.

Bello disclosed this when he defended the Revised FCT 2020 Statutory budget before the Senate Committee on FCT in Abuja.

He said: “In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the need to deploy personnel and resources to contain the pandemic, the FCT Administration had to allocate funds to its Secretariats, Departments and Agencies (SDAs) either with direct or tangential links to provide emergency services required to combat the menace of the pandemic.

“Accordingly, N28.49 billion was committed for the purpose afore-stated across the SDAs.

“While generally, the nation has been largely successful in managing the spread and fear of COVID-19, the challenges associated with the scourge are real and still with us.

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“Accordingly, it would be appreciated that the provisions set aside for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic be fully retained in the revised appropriation.”

He further stated that funds were spent to establish isolation/treatment centres, procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), provide medication and medicaments, cater to frontline health workers and the provision of palliatives for distribution to the vulnerable members of the society.

According to him, the FCT also provided COVID-19 healthcare services for both residents and non-residents of the city, adding that these took a tremendous toll on the financial resources of the FCT.

Bello stated that the territory realised N136 billion from various sources, representing 54 per cent of the N232.8 billion earlier projected.

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