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KWSG announces minor cabinet reshuffle, applauds BUA support on COVID-19, says it has spent N1.5b on pandemic

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    Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday announced a minor cabinet reshuffle involving five commissioners who are to move from one ministry to the other.

    According to the statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye and made available to the journalists, said the affected  Commissioners are; Communication Olanrewaju Murtala who moves to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Harriet Adenike Afolabi Oshatimehin who goes to the Ministry of Communication, according to a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary Rafiu Ajakaye.

    The statement said the Commissioner for Environment Architect Aliyu Mohammed Saifudeen switches to the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development; Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development Hajia Aisha Ahman-Pategi moves to the Ministry of Special Duties; while the Commissioner for Special Duties Funke Juliana Oyedun goes to the Ministry of Environment.

    That comes as the Governor on Friday commended the BUA Group for donating three ambulance buses to the Kwara State Government, some two months after the conglomerate donated N100m to the state’s COVID-19 campaign.

    “I am so glad that BUA has lived up to the expectation again. It is not just the buses. BUA recently gave us N100m which we are very grateful for,” AbdulRazaq said shortly after the ambulances were handed over to him in Ilorin, the state capital.

    Insisting that the gradual reopening of the economy does not mean that the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the governor urged citizens to adhere to all safety protocols as the world now appears to be in the middle of the health crisis.

    “I want to specifically thank the chairman of BUA, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, for N100m, these ambulance buses, the hundreds of people being employed in Kwara State, and for the internally generated revenue they contribute to the state and for future prospects and investments,” he added.

    Senior General Manager of the Lafiagi Sugar Company (BUA Group) AbdulRasheed Olayiwola said the ambulances were meant to further Kwara’s campaign against the pandemic which affects everyone.

    “We are stakeholders in Kwara State and our Chairman is very particular about development and, as a responsible corporate organisation, we’re not only interested in our investment here, we are also interested in the wellbeing of Kwarans. We deem it fit therefore to support this government in its drive to fight the scourge of COVID-19,” he said.

    The state government, meanwhile, has announced the receipt of N243m as financial donations from private individuals and corporate bodies between March 27th and now.

    The donations were in respect of the government’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic, and had at various times been acknowledged in official news releases, Ajakaye, who doubles as the spokesman of the COVID-19 Committee, said in the statement.

    “The government is most grateful for these gestures from distinguished Kwarans and organisations, including citizens whose contributions were borne out of patriotism than the size of their pockets,” it added.

    The statement also said a total of N1,569,107,944.70 has so far been expended on the pandemic between April 1 and June 29.

    The breakdowns are running (cost) of the activities of the technical committee (N132,931,510); medical supplies and equipment (N713,480,100.90); palliatives (N525,277,030.00); COVID-related renovation works N149,928,753.80; and security, health workers’ allowances and logistics (N47,490,550.00).

    These expenses covered the purchase of military grade Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulances; automated ventilators and several other Intensive Care Unit (ICU) gadgets/equipment; production of hand sanitizers; and the cost of running the activities of the technical committee and its subcommittees, the statement added.

    The expenses also included the cost of the palliatives that were distributed during the lockdown; renovation of the Sobi Specialist Hospital and the Hajj Camp; mass production of face masks, purchase of surgical masks, digital thermometers, N95 and respirator-sperien 5311, and other Personal Protective Equipment; medical supplies and consumables; security expenses; trainings; allowances for medical personnel and other supportive staff in charge of the pandemic; part-renovation of the Offa General Hospital as an isolation centre; and patients’ management, among others.

    “It is important to add that the government has not spent a kobo from these donations as the funds have not been appropriated by the House of Assembly. However, materials including food stuffs donated have been distributed accordingly,” the statement added.

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