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The Kogi State Government has denied reports that it acquired the controversial ‘self-assessment COVID-19 software’ for N90.7 million; saying that the software was purchased at a total cost of only N890, 000.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, made the denial in a statement he issued in reaction to an earlier report by Premium Times, alleging that the state last year spent over N90 million on software that the developers now offer for only N300,000.
In the report, the digital news platform had alleged that an obtained financial record contained the expenditure, and the records were certified by the Accountant-General of the state, Momoh Jibrin, and the Commissioner for Finance, Asiru Idris.
Those records, according to Premium Times, showed the government initially budgeted N150 million for the computer software project but stated that it ended up spending N90.7 million, “thus saving N59.2 million”.
However, in his statement of Monday, Mr Fanwo alleged that the report was misleading.
“The report in PREMIUM TIMES of March 26, 2021 which was titled: ‘INVESTIGATION: Kogi govt spent N90 million on a N300,000 software’, which falsely claimed that the Government of Kogi State spent N90 million to procure a software for Covid-19 self assessment, is not only misleading, but a malicious attempt at painting the state as a corrupt one.
“We initially wanted to ignore the lies in the report, knowing how much the state government has been attacked for not subscribing to the commercial aspects of Covid-19. But on a second thought, we have decided to put Premium Times under the lense of truth, logic and commonsense.” he said.
“As a Government, we have no record that 90 million naira was expended to procure the Covid-19 self assessment software.”
“What was actually spent on the software referred to in the publication as well as the upgrading of the Ministry of Health website was N890, 000.00 (eight hundred and thousand naira only).
“How N890,000.00 became 90 million naira can only be a ludicrous pen magic by draconian pen arbiters hired to do a hatchet job.” he further stated.