By Martha Agas
Abuja, Aug. 12 , 2020 A group, Open Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), has donated an ambulance to Plateau government as part of its contributions toward combating COVID-19 in the state.
Speaking at the presentation on Wednesday at Plateau Governor’s Lodge Abuja, the country Director of OSIWA, Mr Jude Ilo said, the gesture was to consolidate on the efforts of Plateau government in combating COVID-19.
He said the organisation, established more than 20 years ago, was to strengthen democracy, promote good governance and development in West Africa.
He comended Plateau government on its efforts in combating COVID-19, saying the ambulance which also included Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs), disinfectants and hand sanitiser among others would augment government’s efforts.
The country Director urged Lalong to establish a gender commisison to aid in the implementation of the Gender Equal Opportunity Law (GEOL).
Responding, Gov Lalong thanked the group for the gesture.
The governor explained that the increase in the COVID-19 cases in the state was because of the increase in the number of testing centres.
“We have now three testing centres in the state at National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Jos University Teaching Hospital and Plateau Specialist Hospital.
“We have conducted test on more than 20,000 persons in the state so far. We test 700 persons in a day and we have delay of releasing results, as it is now we have outstanding results of about 3,000 samples,” he said.
He explained that the many pending results released in a day gave the public the impression that the state had many cases in a day
Lalong said his discharge of duties was in line of OSIWA’s objective of promoting good governance and giving the electorate the dividends of democracy.
“We were the first to set up a Peace Building Agency in the country, where through early warning signals, crisis in communities are forestalled.
“We were also rated by Nigeria Bureau for Statistics as the second least corrupt state in 2019 and we are working toward establishing six primary and secondary schools and six hospitals of International standard,” he said.
He said more than 50,000 youths had been empowered through the Plateau Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency.
The governor added that two Plateau youths had won awards every year at the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Awards since its establishment.
Lalong urged OSIWA to collaborate with Plateau to fast track development in the state