About nine states are set to benefit from the N1 billion pledged by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to combat the Coronavirus disease.
This disclosure was made shortly after the commission shut down operations due to the spread of the pandemic across the country.
According to the Commission’s Acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, the agency is collaborating with other stakeholders to effectively fight the disease as it focuses on contributing in the area of treatment.
He said: “We are exploring avenues to see if we could intervene in providing ventilators and facilitate the procurement of oxygen. We are also looking at the drugs that have been used so far in other climes for treatment. The NDDC is going a step above what others are doing.”
Giving a breakdown of the contribution, Pondei said the agency was supporting nine states with N775 million while another N270 million would be released to assist in establishing isolation centres in the 27 senatorial districts across the region.
Shutting down of operations: The NDDC had told all its staff to work from home until further notice following the Federal Government’s directive on March 26, 2020. This was announced in an internal memorandum signed by the NDDC Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chief Ibanga Bassey Etang.
The Commission also urged all its staff to stay safe and continue to adhere strictly to the preventive measures of the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to the NDDC, the measures include ensuring personal hygiene such as washing of hands, sanitizing, maintaining social distancing and staying at home.
The Commission further directed staff to curb the possible spread of the virus by following the guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, and other relevant health agencies of government.