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NCDC slams reports over spending N1bn on SMS

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, April 8; criticised false reports that the agency claimed to have spent N1 billion on Short Message Service (SMS) to Nigerians.

Since the coronavirus pandemic became widespread in the country; the NCDC has also been sending messages containing safety tips to telephone users.

However, on Wednesday, the social media space went agog after false information emerged that the government agency had spent a whopping N1 billion on text messages alone.

In a rebuttal, NCDC swiftly denied the report via a series of tweets.

“The headline claiming that NCDC has spent N1 billion on SMS to Nigerians is false”, it said.

NCDC said network service providers are providing SMS as kind support.

“While communication through SMS is a key part of our COVID-19 response strategy; this has been largely provided as in-kind support by Airtel; MTN; and Glo.” 

Meanwhile, the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have given assurance of its support; for the plan to supply free electricity to all consumers for two months; as one of the palliatives to bring succour to Nigerians in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sunday Oduntan, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED); confirmed their support for the move on Wednesday in Abuja.

As a matter of fact, the House of Representatives is to consider a fresh Stimulus Bill that will allow Nigerians; to enjoy electricity supply for two months without any charge.

According to Oduntan, details of the implementation of plans for the free electricity supply will come soon. This is essential in order to ensure that all categories of electricity consumers are covered.

“We are completely aligned with the plans to ensure palliative measures; including free electricity supply to all Nigerians for two months; to make life easier; during the lockdown period. We recognise the challenging effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economic and daily lives of our customers.”

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