MATANE 1By Akawu Ibrahim

Secretary to the Niger state government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane who’s also the chairman of the state COVID-19 taskforce has said that all government appointees who are members of the taskforce must appear before the House of Assembly investigative panel over covid-19.

The SSG who was responding to questions by journalists at the state assembly complex said there was need for taskforce members to appear and give account and put the records straight.

He said he will ensure that those government officials who have responsibilities in the taskforce come forward before the investigative panel to give account of their responsibilities.

He said the taskforce committee has over 35 members and only nine people appeared before the legislative panel which became impossible for the hearing session to continue. 

He said although there are some members of the taskforce who are outside his control and cannot be forced to appear like private associations and traditional rulers, those who are government functionaries and members of the committee will be made to appear.

“About three commissioners are indisposed. Like the commissioner for health, education and agriculture. These are key officials and if the assembly felt they must appear physically, then we will make sure they appear”, he said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the house of assembly investigative panel, Hon Malik Madaki Bosso said his committee wants to be fair to everyone and that was why they adjourned the sitting till Thursday.

He said key members of the covid-19 taskforce who are active in the committee like commissioners of transportation, health, education were absent and the hearing could not hold without the presence of these important people because of the role they played.

He said his committee will reconvene on Thursday when all the officials are expected to appear. He maintained that their assignment was a serious one and all the information needed must be presented.

It will be recalled that the Niger state House of Assembly has set up an investigation committee when member representing Bosso constituency moved a motion drawing members’ attention to the activities of the taskforce on COVID-19.