Trump discusses with Buhari, promises to send ventilators

President Donald Trump of the United States has discussed with his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, on the steps being taken by the Federal Government to combat the coronavirus, promising to send ventilators to boost the fight.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed disclosed this yesterday at the press briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 in Abuja.

He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari today (yesterday) had a phone conversation with President Donald Trump, at the request of the American leader. The conversation centred on Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“President Buhari used the opportunity to brief the American president on the steps that Nigeria is taking to contain the spread of the disease.

“For his part, President Trump assured that the United States stands in solidarity with Nigeria in this difficult time and promised to send ventilators to support the country in its fight against the pandemic.

“President Trump also extends his best regards to the people of Nigeria.”

In a related development, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, yesterday alleged shadiness in the distribution of the Federal Government-provided palliatives to states.

During a working visit to the headquarters of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Abuja, the minister demanded to know the operational plans at the state level.

Her words: “We are supposed to work with the states to ensure the operational plans at the state level distribution are transparent. It is very key to us.

“That will allow us to effectively monitor the distribution to the targeted people.”

She reiterated the need for collaboration with the states especially where they are taking the interventions to in order to leverage the top to down approach.

The minister continued: “I know that we have a structure on ground and we need to really strengthen that structure so that we are able to assist the victims by taking these palliatives to the targeted beneficiaries – the poor and the vulnerable in our society.

“We would like the DG of NEMA to tell us about the state level arrangements because we have been receiving questions in this regard of how we are failing in collaboration with the states.”

Besides, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sabotaging COVID-19 intervention efforts in the country through its attack on state institutions and other initiatives.

Its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, made the allegation yesterday in Abuja while reacting to the latest statement by the PDP alleging fraud in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), particularly its move to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical kits to fight the disease in the oil-rich region.

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