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500b COVID-19 stimulus fund: Expert tasks FG on judicious use

By Hassan Zaggi

The Federal Government has been called upon to put to judicious use the 500 billion naira which is equivalent to 1.4 billion dollars stimulus funds given to the Nigerian government by the International Monetary Fund for COVID-19 response in the country.
The Coordinator of Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi, made the call in an exclusive interview during the two-day seminar organised for journalists by the AHBN in Abuja.
Out of the 500 billion naira, 126 billion is for intervention in the health sector.
Responding to questions from our correspondent, Dr. Magashi said: “126 billion naira is a lot of money. If you look at the entire package of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is 35 billion naira but we are celebrating that money.
“Now, we are given additional 126 billion naira for Covid-19 response. It is something to celebrate.
“But we are still calling on the government to put these monies into use to provide a response for Nigerians.
Within this 126 billion there is 20 billion naira for hazard allowance, there is 10 billion for vaccine production, there is research and documentation, there is money for intensive care unit, there is also money for training and retraining and that for monitoring and evaluation. “
Speaking on the commitment made by the federal government to improve Reproductive, Newborn, Maternal and Child Health, he said: “We are optimistic not because we have seen a lot of positive progress, we are optimistic because of the partnership we are building including the media, the National Assembly, CSOs and professional bodies. That is why we are optimistic.
“We can put all our heads together and hold the government to account. We are optimistic that changes will happen. There is power in partnership, there is power in working together to deliver for Nigeria.
“We are calling on the government that this is a commitment made for Nigerians and there is no excuse not to deliver on the promise.”

Written by ExpressDay

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