Dame Edith Okowa, wife of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has denied receiving N3.5 billion for her pet project, O’5 Initiative, from the Initiative for Global Development, a U.S based organisation.
The governor’s wife made the denial in Asaba on Wednesday at a press briefing while reacting to stories making the round that IGD donated 10 million dollars (N3.5 billion) to O’5 Initiative.
The money was allegedly donated during the just concluded United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
She explained that O’5 Initiative as a registered organization was invited to the UNGA where she made presentations.
“A major outcome of our UN presentations is the expressed desire of the Initiative for Global Development to partner with O’5 Initiative.
“Their interest is centered on digitizing our sickle cell clinics across the state. This will generate critical data that will aid in the management of sickle cell patients.
“I would like to state categorically that no memorandum of understanding has been signed and no financial commitment has been made.
“If my Initiative was given any money, I will be very glad but no money was given to it,” she said.
Mrs Okowa said that the O’5 Initiative, had enjoyed support in cash and kind from individuals and corporate bodies including banks and oil companies.
She mentioned that the organization had conducted medical outreach programmes at the grassroots in the state in which 26,304 patients benefited in 2018.
“Also the distribution of 15,811 eyeglasses and 9,386 eye drops, and performed surgery on 2,241 patients.
“In the past four years, we have paid hospital bills for indigent patients to the tune of nearly N14 million.
“Perhaps, our most visible achievement to date is our contributions to the treatment and management of sickle cell disorder.
“We have so far established 12 sickle cell centers in government owned hospitals in Agbor, Oleh, Kwale, Okpe, Ughelli, Otu-Jeremi, Umunede, Issele-Uku, Patani, Emu and Moko, fitted with modern laboratory equipment, genetic counsellors and medical doctors,” Mrs Okowa said.