PDP Asks PTF to Account for N5bn Presidential Grant to NCDC

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National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wednesday called on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to account for the N5 billion released by President Muhammadu Buhari, as special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

The PDP’s demand was predicated on the allegations that the PTF has impeded the smooth running of activities of the NCDC by shrouding the funds with unnecessary administrative bottlenecks and unwarranted political control.

The party, in a statement that was issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, was worried over the recent frightening complains by the NCDC that it was in desperate need of essential COVID-19 extraction kits required to tackle the pandemic and safeguard Nigerians at this critical time.

Ologbondiyan also said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has failed to urgently mobilise home grown researches into COVID-19 therapeutics, including drugs, equipment and essential kits to combat the spread of the virus in the communities.

The party, therefore, demanded that the PTF should immediately come clean on the whereabouts of the fund and also explain why it had failed to heed the calls by Nigerians to engage indigenous researchers, virologist and manufacturers for home grown solutions, particularly in the production of drugs, text kits as well as ventilators, despite
the huge resources at its
disposal.

According to the PDP, there is fear whether the NCDC intervention fund has not been placed under the control of an alleged corrupt cabal in the PTF, where it would be difficult for the NCDC to access promptly.

“Our party is concerned that the PTF had not demonstrated the required capacity beyond its daily media show, complication of figures and needless photo-ops, while the pandemic continues to spread in our country,” Ologbondiyan said.

The PDP, therefore, demanded for the immediate reorganisation of the PTF to eliminate all underlining political impediments and allow known medical experts to step in and effectively galvanise our public and private institutions for solution.

It said: “As a party, we restate our confidence in our indigenous scientists, medical and virology experts and caution that the current over-dependence on foreign interventions is not in the best interest of our nation.”

The party also called on President Buhari to account for the funds so far released to the PTF and channel the required investments towards indigenous research for production of treatment drugs, vaccines, ventilators and other essential kits, especially now the nation has been witnessing a spike in the spread of the pandemic.