By Mohammed Baba Busu
The Nasarawa State Government says the vehicles purchased for 24 members of the state House of Assembly were ordered before the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
The government offered the explanation in a statement by Mr Yakubu Lamai, the Director General, Strategic Communication and Press Affairs to Gov. Abdullahi Sule, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia on Monday.
Lamai emphasised that the vehicles were purchased long before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with extant laws.
He urged the public to disregard insinuations that the state has no single ventilator but has purchased vehicles worth N500m for the state lawmakers.
The spokesman said the state government had ordered for the ventilators and was awaiting delivery.
The director-general described the report as ‘false and misleading’.
“The ventilators have been ordered and we are expecting them anytime soon,” as confirmed by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Dogo Shammah, he stated.
“Nigeria recorded its first case of Coronavirus on the 27th February, 2020, in Lagos and while many other states were still grappling with what to do.
“Engineer Abdullahi A. Sule instinctively mandated staff of the Ministry of Health to immediately transport and escort 832 students on Exchange Programme from 18 participating states schooling in Government College, Keffi, and Government Girls College, Wamba, back to their respective states.
“Before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, Nasarawa State became one of the earliest states in Nigeria to develop an actual case Management Protocol to handle symptoms of Covid 19 at Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, ” Lamai said.
He therefore urged the people of the state to disregard the speculation that the state government purchased brand new Toyota vehicles worth N500m for the state lawmakers.