* Says fund should be channeled to research, drugs and equipment
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday asked the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to immediately account for the N5 billion released by President Muhammadu Buhari, as special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The opposition party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said its demand is predicated on allegations that the PTF has shrouded the funds in unnecessary administrative bottlenecks and unwarranted political control, which are impeding the smooth running of activities of the NCDC.
The party expresses 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.
“This is in addition to the failure by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to urgently mobilize home grown researches into COVID-19 therapeutics, including drugs, equipment and essential kits to combat the spread of the virus in our communities,” PDP said.
The party therefore demands that the PTF should immediately come clean on the whereabouts of the fund as well as explain why it had failed to heed to 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.
The opposition party hoped that the NCDC intervention fund has not been funneled into the control of an alleged corrupt cabal in the PTF, where it will be difficult for the Center to promptly access. “Our party is concerned that the PTF had not demonstrated the required capacity towards solutions beyond its daily media show, complication of figures and needless photo-ops, while the pandemic continues to spread in our country, PDP added.
The opposition party further stated that it was the reason it demanded for the immediate reorganization of the PTF to eliminate all underlining political impediments and allow our known experts to step in and effectively galvanize our public and private institutions for solution. “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,” PDP said.
They called on President Buhari to demand for an account of the funds so far released for the pandemic as well as immediately channel the required investments towards indigenous research for production of treatment drugs, vaccines, ventilators and other essential kits, especially as the nation witnesses a spike of the pandemic