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Covid-19: Buhari approves N6.45bn for new oxygen plants nationwide

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide in a bid to enhance the treatment of Covid-19 patients who need oxygen.

Minister of Health Dr Ehanire

This disclosure emerged at the first National Economic Council meeting of the year presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, with State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials in attendance.

While briefing the NEC on the release of the funds, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the President approved the release of the funds for the production of oxygen, owing to the surge in number of patients who need oxygen from Covid-19 infections.

Also during the meeting, the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, informed the Council that sequel to President Buhari’s decision to activate the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund based on the National Health Act, N55.1billion was approved in 2018 and that 50% of the sum has since been released to the States and the FCT.

Besides, the Federal Government has also allocated N35billion for 2021 for the Fund.

It would be recalled that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF or “The Fund”) was established under Section 11 of the National Health Act (NHA Act), as the principal funding vehicle for the Basic Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS).

The Fund serves to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Funding of the BHCPF would be derived from contributions including — an annual grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria of not less than one per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) — grants by international donor partners; and funds from any other source.

Other updates at the NEC meeting include account balances as at 20th January, 2020 given by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, as follows:

Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28, 800, 711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.

Written by ExpressDay

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