NCDC denies spending 1 billion naira on SMS


Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Thursday denied news making the rounds that it has spent over a billion naira on short message service.

“The headline claiming that NCDC has spent N1 billion on SMS to Nigerians is FALSE,” NCDC tweeted.

“While communication through SMS is a key part of our #COVID19 response strategy, this has been largely provided as in-kind support by by @AirtelNigeria, @MTNNG, @GloWorld,” the health institute added.

The public health institute was however silent on how much it has spent so far.

The denial comes after a few news platforms claimed that the NCDC has spent one billion naira on short message service since the index case of coronavirus was reported in the country.

NCDC launched different service to engage Nigerians on how to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. The centre late last month also launched WhatsApp service.

It explained that the newly launched platform allows for a two-way engagement on WhatsApp, which would aid conversation between it and the people.

According to the NCDC, real-time messages will be sent to Nigerians who opt into the service while they can also engage directly with the centre.

As of Wednesday, Nigeria has recorded 276 cases of coronavirus, Lagos has the highest number of cases with 145 cases followed by Abuja with 54. Forty-four patients have been discharged, while six COVID-19 deaths have been recorded.



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