The Federal Government has urged all State Governments to prepare facilities of at least 300-person capacity in anticipation of a surge in the spread of Coronavirus Disease.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated this on Thursday during a news briefing in Abuja.
He said the Federal Government would intensify consultation with state governments to better coordinate the fight against the pandemic.
Mustapha said most of the harsh measures that have been introduced might be amplified, noting that COVID-19, beyond posing a potential threat to humanity, was a threat to the economy and national security of Nigeria.
He said: “As we continue to assess the readiness of containment and management, we recognise strongly the importance of synergy with the states.
“It is important for states, whether in the frontline, where cases have been reported or where cases have not been reported, to intensify the preparation of facilities that will help, in the event of a surge
“In furtherance of this consultation, we are requesting that the sub-national governments should provide at least a 300-bed facility, either a hotel or any other facility that is available to them, with options, upgraded in different categories so that they provide basic nursing and earlier required procedures before patients are moved into the isolation centres or the teaching hospitals or any other facility.
“Those facilities, starting from 300, should be expandable as the need arises.”
The SGF also said there has been no cash donation to the government to fight COVID-19.
He said there have been efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria, corporate bodies and individuals to raise funds, but government had no control over the initiatives.
He said an account, which would be under their control, had been opened and no transaction carried out yet.
He said: “Let me inform the nation that, so far, the Presidential Task Force has not received any donation directly in terms of cash for this exercise.
“We have received donations of materials, particularly from the ones that came from Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire, and that has adequately been distributed by the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control).
“In terms of monetary contribution, the national coordinator has just informed you that different organisations and individuals are pioneering that in their efforts.
“So far, I know of four different efforts.
“The first is the one being driven by the Central Bank and the corporate organisations, jointly being handled by the Governor of the Central Bank (Godwin Emefiele) and Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
“They have a funding committee, they have an operation committee and they have a technical committee.
“They are going to run, fund, execute projects, buy equipment, all in furtherance of fighting coronavirus.
“At the end of the exercise, they have explained in their document that they will appoint an accounting firm that will take an audit of their exercise and make a report to the donors for the purposes of accountability and transparency.
“Government does not have control of those funds, the presidential task force does not have control of those funds.”