By Franca Joseph
In its efforts to strengthen the country’s capabilities in the ongoing war on COVID-19, the Federal Government of Nigeria is seeking to set up a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund that is meant to improve the capacities of the medical establishment and state governments to contain the spread of the virus.
This was disclosed by Zainab, Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed at a meeting with principal officers of the country’s national parliament on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
According to the minister, the proposed fund would be sourced from various special accounts from the federation as well as grants from international organizations, hence her request for the consent of the National Assembly to obtain the loans from these special accounts.
Zainab promised to return to the National Assembly with a proposed bill containing a breakdown of how the proposed fund would be spent.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, in his response said that the proposed loan was in order considering the crisis situation the country was currently grappling with.
Lawan also advised the Federal Executive to seek for other methods for implementing its social intervention initiative, noting that the distribution of cash (N20, 000) stipends to vulnerable Nigerians might not properly serve its intended purpose.