By Adeniyi Adedeji, Ilorin
The Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has announced a minor cabinet reshuffle involving five commissioners, who are to move from their former ministries to others.
Those affected included: the Commissioner for Communication, Olanrewaju Murtala, who moves to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Harriet Adenike Afolabi Oshatimehin, who goes to the Ministry of Communication.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaiye, said that the Commissioner for Environment, Architect Aliyu Mohammed Saifudeen, moves to the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development; while the Commissioner in the ministry, Hajia Aisha Ahman-Pategi, moves to the Ministry of Special Duties; and the Commissioner for Special Duties, Funke Juliana Oyedun, goes to the Ministry of Environment.
In another development, the governor on Friday commended the BUA Group for donating three ambulances to the Kwara State government, some two months after the conglomerate had donated N100 million to the state’s COVID-19 campaigns.
Governor AbdulRazaq said, “I am so glad that BUA has lived up to the expectations again. It is not just the buses. BUA recently gave us N100m which we are very grateful for.”
Reiterating that the gradual reopening of the economy does not mean that the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is over and urged the citizens to adhere to all safety protocols as the world now appears to be in the middle of the health crisis.
He added, “I want to specifically thank the chairman of BUA, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, for N100 million, 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.
While speaking, Senior General Manager of the Lafiagi Sugar Company (BUA Group) AbdulRasheed Olayiwola said the ambulances were meant to further strengthen 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.
Meanwhile, the government announced the receipt of N243m as financial donations from private individuals and corporate bodies between March 27th and now as assistance to fight COVID-19.
“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,” the Governor added.
Also, a total of N1,569,107,944.70 has so far been expended on the pandemic between April 1 and June 29.
The statement by Ajakaiye gave the breakdown of the expenses by COVID-19 Committee in the state as 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 said