The Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has signed the revised N107.3billion 2020 budget into law.
Signing the budget on Monday, Governor Yahaya said the downward review of the budget was due to the global economic shocks occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected national and personal incomes.
According to him, despite the downwards review of the budget, the state government ensured that health, education, agriculture and other critical sectors remain the top priorities of the state.
The governor explained that the health sector’s budget, in particular, has been increased as a demonstration of the administration’s resolve to combat the virus and its socio-economic impact on the lives and means of livelihood of the people.
Six members of the Gombe state house of Assembly, who had earlier tested positive to the COVID-19 virus, say they have now recovered from the virus and tested negative.
The six members, led by the speaker Abubakar Kurba, in a press briefing on Friday, said they are grateful to the medical team from the state task force on COVID-19 while stating they would do more for the health sector in Gombe state.
For two weeks the legislators said they had to undergo a series of treatments against the virus in isolation, away from family members and friends.
With concerns on the review of the state budget, the legislators pledged their support to the health sector
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Gombe reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
The state has reported 451 cases of the virus, 220 recoveries, and 13 deaths as of Friday evening.
Three commissioners have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) in Gombe State.
The Commissioner of Information and Culture in the state, Ibrahim Alhassan, disclosed this to reporters on Tuesday.
He explained that the COVID-19 status of the infected persons was discovered after all 21 commissioners in Gombe and the governor’s aides took the test.
Alhassan also confirmed that the test results of one of the governor’s aides and five members of the Gombe State House of Assembly came back positive.
He said, “We conducted massive tests for all the government functionaries – the commissioners, special advisers, and all the staff of the Government House.
“Out of the 21 commissioners, it is unfortunate that we are having three positive cases. Of the special advisers, we have one positive case.”
“Of the members of the State House of Assembly, we have five positive cases. This is so far, the update within the government cycle,” he added.
The commissioner decried that the pandemic was already within the community and the state has begun to witness community transmission of the disease.
He revealed that the government has decided to lead by example by ensuring that 100 per cent of its workforce took the test.
“Therefore, all hands need to be on deck to see that we fight this pandemic head-on and as of today, permanent secretaries and directors in all the government ministries and agencies are now undergoing the screening (the test),” he stated.
The Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19 in the state, Professor Idris Muhammad, also gave an update on the outbreak of the disease in Gombe.
He noted that the government has tested 609 people in four days and the results of 63 persons returned positive.
Professor Muhammad also confirmed that the infected members of the executive and legislative arms of government in the state were among the positive cases.
He, therefore, appealed to the residents to be cooperative with the task force in its aggressive approach to curb the community transmission of the disease in the state.
The task force chairman also advised the residents, especially those on essential services to wilfully submit themselves for the test.
According to him, Gombe State has a total of 234 positive cases of COVID-19, out of which 33 patients are active with 134 others discharged, as of 2pm on Tuesday.
As precautionary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, Gombe has shut the Government House in the state capital.
The state government also ordered public officials; including cabinet members and staff to undergo COVID-19 test.
This follows the death of a Director of Special Services and Political Office of the Secretary to the State Government who tested positive for the virus.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Ismaila Misilli, Governor Inuwa Yahaya ordered that the “Government House Clinic where the deceased was admitted be disinfected and closed from any Physical interactions until Monday 8th June 2020.”
The governor also directed that high-risk areas such as the offices of the deceased and that of the SSG should also be fumigated.
Similarly, “those tested are also strongly advised to go into self-isolation pending the outcome of the results.”
While urging members of the general public to take the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols and medical experts’ advice seriously, Governor Yahaya called for a strict observance of all precautionary measures of hand-washing, use of sanitisers and face masks as well as maintain social distancing.
He said such measures are important in order to prevent the spread of the disease, especially because the nation has entered into another phase of the COVID-19 spread called community transmission.
The SSG, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi who was the first to be tested commended the effort of the State Taskforce on COVID-19 for its decisive approach and response after it was confirmed that the staff in the SSG’s office died of COVID-19 complications.
“The Taskforce took the right and by all means, the correct decision to forestall the spread of the virus among the good people of Gombe State by immediately conducting the much-needed contact tracing and advising every member of staff, including family members, friends and well-wishers to be tested and if found positive, proceed on self-isolation,” he said.
Meanwhile, samples from Commissioners, Special Advisers, members of the Taskforce on COVID-19 where the deceased served in several capacities as well as those of other staff and aides are being taken test while the Rapid Response Team has also commenced contact tracing.
The Adamawa state government has commenced the repatriation of over four hundred Almajiri children from different parts of the state to Gombe and other northern states.
The Secretary to Adamawa state government who doubles as the Chairman of the COVID-19 Containment Committee says the move is in line with the agreement reached at several meetings of the northern governors’ forum prior to the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Almajiri children have been received by the Gombe State government with the promise to check their health status before they are reunited with their families.
Twenty persons have recovered and have now been discharged from Isolation Centers in Gombe State.
The Commissioner for Health and the Acting Chairman of the state’s task force on COVID-19, Dr. Ahmed Gana, confirmed this on Friday at the daily press briefing on the progress of the COVID-19 in the state.
According to him, the discharge cut across Federal Teaching Hospital, State Specialist Hospital and Kwadon Isolation Centres.
He also warned members of the public against stigmatising COVID-19 patients or even survivors.
“There should be no stigma, they are clean and we have issued them a clean bill of health. They have tested negative twice before they were discharged, the general public should accept them and not stigmatize them,” he said.
“Those discharged should be ambassadors of COVID-19 they should educate their families, and those around them that COVID-19 is real”.
Meanwhile, Gana stated that the government is making plans to tighten security at the various isolation centres.
COVID-19 patients currently at the isolation facility in Kwadon community, Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area (LGA) of Gombe have abandoned the facility in protest.
The protesters on Tuesday numbering about 20 trooped out of the centre and occupied the Federal High road which links Gombe to Borno State.
They claimed that they were not being given adequate care at the facility while some others claimed that they have no COVID-19 symptom.
“Even if anyone has a headache, we will give them money to help us buy drugs. There is no doctor here,” one of the patients, identified as Halima, told Channels Television.
“I have so far spent five days here and I have shown no symptoms. They are just using us for business.”
The patients, who have been on admissions at the facility for one week, disclosed that the care they are getting at the facility is poor and added that the officials are not telling members of the public the true situation of things.
Gombe State Government has set up two treatment and isolation centres to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The isolation centres are the Kwadon Infectious Disease Hospital, which has a 150-bed capacity and another at the State Specialist Hospital.
While commissioning the COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres set up by his administration on Thursday, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said that his administration will do everything humanly possible to ensure a healthy society.
He explained that the state government decided to create the centres to show his administration’s preparedness for any case of the pandemic in the state.
As the new year begins, Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has enjoined the people of the state to look to the future with optimism and renew their commitment to peace and unity.
In a message to usher-in the year 2020, Governor Yahaya said the new year offers the citizenry a new opportunity to renew their faith in God, the state and the country, calling on them to draw on the lessons learnt in 2019 in all aspects of human endeavours.
While commending the people of the state for their resilience, commitment, and support, Governor Yahaya urged them to maintain the spirit and continue to work assiduously for the peace, progress, and development of the state.
He expressed optimism that the year 2020 will be a bright and prosperous one for Gombe state and Nigeria, saying with his recent signing of the 2020 budget of change, the public procurement, contributory healthcare, and hospitals services management board laws, his administration is well on course to deliver on its far-reaching agenda of good governance.
Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has signed the 2020 budget passed by the Gombe State House of Assembly into law.
He assented to the bill during a brief ceremony on Friday at the Government House in Gombe, north-east Nigeria.
The N130.83 billion Appropriation Act tagged ‘Budget of Change’ has N71.04 billion for capital expenditure while N59.78 billion is for recurrent expenditure.
Governor Yahaya was confident that the budget would bring the desired change to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people, in line with the government’s next level agenda.
He commended members of the State House of Assembly for the expeditious consideration and passage of the budget.
The governor also assured residents of logical implementation to ensure that the people enjoy the dividends of democracy through good governance.
“With the passage and signing into law of the 2020 budget, the onus now lies on us to live up to expectation and justify the confidence reposed in us by the people,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Ismaila Misilli.
Governor Yahaya added, “This time around, no excuse will be tolerated because the budget so passed and assented to belongs to us.”
He noted that it was the first time the state involved the public in the budget process through a town hall engagement with stakeholders, before presenting it to the State Executive Council and laying it before the House for legislative scrutiny and eventual passage.
The governor commended the state Ministry of Finance, as well as the office of the Special Adviser on Budget, Planning, and Development Partners Coordination for playing vital roles throughout the budget process.
Earlier, the Speaker of Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Kurba, said the House was delighted and proud of the performance of the governor.
He gave the assurance that they would continue to cooperate with the present administration to bequeath a Gombe which the up-coming generation would be proud of.