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Covid19: Embezzlement Allegations Against Me False- Taraba Health Commissioner

The Taraba State Commissioner for Health and Chairman, State Technical Committee on COVID-19 Dr Innocent Vakkai has denied our report where some frontline workers alleged him of embezzling there hazard and inducement allowances.


Vakkai describe the allegations in the report as untrue and false noting that his Committee never received money or donation on behalf of the state government to fight the pandemic.


According to him, there was no iota of truth in the report as all monies sent to the state for the support and management of COVID 19 were paid directly into the state government account.

"I want to state here categorically that the state technical committee can only apply for funds through the Taraba government account section, we don't have an account where support funds can be paid into for me to divert.

"Also most of these donations you hear is not in cash, they come in items such as face mask, sanitizers, hand washing tanks, temperature testing equipment, beds for Isolation centers, treatment equipment and so many other things.

"If one is to apply for funds, one will first of all state reasons and items, why you need such funds, you also report back to the state government with receipts of your expenditure on how the funds were expended."

Vakkai, however, said: "I also want to disclose that we collected a sum of N1 billion from the FG and they was a specific instruction that 25% of the money  must be used to provide Personal Protection equipment for our frontline workers. Also the state government had earlier expended a lot of money in tune of 420 million from other sectors to confront the pandemic. 

"We used part of it to provide equipment for our two treatment centers at the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo, and General Hospital, Takum.

"We are a 30-man COVID-19 Technical Committee and how can I possibly manipulate these men and bypass the state government account section and divert even more than we have been supported with in the first place," he said.

He added that the state government received 100million from the World Bank but the fund is not managed by the State Covid19 Committee but a Technical Committee managing the Covid19 treatment centers.  

During the first wave of Covid19, we paid our frontline workers stipends, which should not be mistaken for their hazard and inducement allowance, the compilation of the total cost of  hazard and inducement allowance has reached the last phase and would be paid as soon as it is approved. But also note that not all healthcare workers are frontline workers, only those working in contact with infected patients are entitled  to the hazard and inducement allowance."


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