Taraba Health Commissioner Denies Diverting N1.2bn COVID-19 Funds

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Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State

By; DEKERA NICHOLAS, Kaduna


Taraba  State Commissioner of Health, Dr Innocent Vakkai on Tuesday  debunked the local media publication that he embezzled the sum of N1.2 billion COVID -19 funds granted the state by the Federal Government to tackle  the virus.
Vakkai, who is also  the Chairman, Taraba  Technical Committee On COVID -19 refuted the allegations in a media briefing in Jalingo.
According to him,  the publication  was the imagination of the publisher and thus false  with no iota of truth.
Vakkai explained that all the monies sent to the state for support and management of COVID 19 have been paid directly into the state government account and not to committee or  individuals. 
“I want to state here categorically that the state technical committee can only apply for funds through the Taraba  government account section, we don’t have an account where support funds can be paid into for me to divert”
“If one is to apply for funds, one will  first of all state reasons and items, why you need such funds, you also report back to the state government with receipt of your expenditure on how the funds were expended.
 “The newspaper accused me of building a gigantic hospital in Abuja and Yola with COVID 19 funds, I want to tell the whole world that it is not true.
“I have no single health care center to my name anywhere in Nigeria, let a alone a big hospital, I will be happy if he can go and point at these structures  to anybody or even to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“I also want to disclose that we collected a sum of N1 billion  from the FG  and the money was used to provide Personal Protection equipment for our frontline workers, we also used part of it to provide equipment for our two treatment centers at Specialist Hospital Jalingo and General Hospital Takum.
“We are a 30  man COVID-19 Technical Committee and  how can I possibly manipulate these  men and  bypass the state government account section and divert  even more than we have been supported with in the first place,” he said.
Mr  Danjuma Adamu, the state Commissioner for information and Orientation, who is also a member of the technical committee described the news as fake, urging the public to disregard it. 

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