The Kogi State government has accused the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of deliberately peddling falsehood to scare investors from the state.
The Federal Government had warned against visiting Kogi and four other states – Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi – as it had been unable to confirm the level of spread of COVID-19 in the states.
In a reaction on Tuesday, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, said the government believes that the intention of NCDC was to drive away investors from the state.
“Despite their unreliable figures, Kogi emerged as the preferred investment destination of Nigeria in the last quarter of 2020. They felt embarrassed and the best way to hit back is to create a picture of health crisis in the state,” Fanwo claimed.
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“Kogi was the first state to procure face masks in thousands and distributed to all the councils, as well as the first to set up a team to combat the spread of the virus.
“We set up isolation centres with state-of-the-art equipment. We have done sensitisation more than any other state. So if we don’t believe that Covid-19 exists, we won’t be doing all we are doing to ensure it doesn’t ravage our state.
“What we said and still say is that Covid-19 is not worth all the marketing going on just for a few to make billions; that we do not have to suffer innocent Nigerians while a few smile to the banks,” the commissioner said.
He also said that the cases reported in Kogi were fraudulent as they had given every reason to see them as people not working in the interest of public good.
Mukhtar Mohandas, national incident manager of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, had at a media briefing on Monday said that there were states where data was not coming forth.
“If we don’t test, your data will not be analysed and if your data is not analysed, we won’t know the level of the pandemic in your state. Notable among the states that have not been reporting adequately include Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara and Kebbi and, of course, Kogi State that has not been reporting at all,” Mohandas had said.