The Federal Government says funds donated by the private sector towards fighting Coronavirus are meant for development of healthcare infrastructure and cannot be used to provide palliatives during lockdown.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the explanation on Tuesday, when he featured on a Radio Nigeria programme, “Politics Nationwide”, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mohammed was responding to comments from Nigerians requesting that part of the billions of naira being donated by public-spirited individuals and private institutions should be shared to the people to cushion the effect of the extended lockdown.
The minister said that the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus was neither with the money nor in control of it, and could not share a penny from the fund to anyone.
“The private sector donors are not giving any cash to the federal government and they have made this clear to the people.
“They said they will support the fight against the pandemic by asking government where they want healthcare infrastructure to be provided.
“What government has done is to request them to build a 30-bed isolation ward and a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit in each state in the country.
“In addition, the federal government has given them a list of equipment and commodities that will also be needed
“Therefore, the issue of using their donations to provide palliative cannot arise,” he said.
Mohammed further said that in addressing the issue of palliative, every country adopted peculiar strategy that was workable and acceptable.
He said that Nigeria was leading and remains the best in the whole of Africa in the area of provision of palliative to citizens as the world battles the scourge.
The minister said that the federal government had taken a lot of measures to cushion the effects of Covid-19 on Nigerians, including food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers.
He recalled that on March 18, government reduced the price of petrol from N145 per litre to N125 per litre, with that reduction going further down to N123.50 per litre.
The minister added that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a three-month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans as well as Federal Government-funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.
He said that interest rates for intervention fund had been slashed from nine to five per cent, while the CBN put aside N50 billion fund to help SMEs.
Mohammed said that to cushion effect of the lockdown, satellite towns around Lagos and Abuja were being given relief materials while the vulnerable and those in IDP camps are being taken care of.
He said that besides the two months payment of Conditional Cash Transfer monthly stipend, the President ordered that the social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks.
The minister said that the President had set up a ministerial committee to ensure the economy adapted to the new reality and another body to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the 2020 farming season.
NAN reports that apart from the 30 million dollar (about ₦11.4 billion) recently donated by the NNPC and 33 of its partners, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had said that monetary contributions by the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), has totaled up to about N15 billion.
According to its spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, the fund, domiciled in an account set up under CACOVID, has so far received donations from 37 donors including individuals, banks and other corporate organisations.
Details of the contributions showed that the CBN and Aliko Dangote Foundation contributed N2 billion each.
Abdul Samad Rabiu (BUA Sugar Refinery), Segun Agbaje (GTB), Tony Elumelu (UBA), Oba Otudeko (First Bank), Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank) and Femi Otedola of Amperion Power Distribution donated N1 billion each to the relief fund.(NAN)
I’m so scared, won’t marry again – Angela Okorie
Celebrated actress and singer, Angela Okorie bares her mind on second marriage after the broken one that she does not...
Egyptian model arrested over photo shoot at ancient pyramid
Egyptian model Salma El-Shimy was arrested on Monday over a photo session in Saqqara, a prominent archaeological site in the...
I don’t prostitute for money – Destiny Etiko
Destiny Etiko is famous for her attractive physique but she has said some people misunderstand her because of her physical...
Interview10 months ago
Alleged Constituency scandal: How Onoja got involved, misled Bello for four years – Friday Sani
News1 day ago
Nigerian Senator disarmed man with gun who demands N2 million before allowing him to pass
News6 months ago
I am an Almajiri, feel sad the way governors treat them with disdain – Senator Ndume
Economy2 days ago
Dangote cement factory sealed as hoodlums attack Kogi Revenue Staff over N2 billion tax liability
News2 months ago
Nigeria at 60: Ortom backs Sovereign National Conference, says Nigerians must discuss their challenges
News10 months ago
Kogi: Edward Onoja, cousin in Constituency Projects scandal
Interview10 months ago
Over ambitious Onoja’s plan to unseat governor Bello back firing – Friday Sani
Energy and Power4 days ago
Kogi federal lawmaker lights up Anyigba 15 years after