‘Isolation centres, hazard allowance, PPEs’ — FG explains how N500bn COVID fund was disbursed

 


Clement Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, has given a breakdown of how the federal government disbursed the N500 billion allocated for COVID-related expenses.

 

Agba disclosed this at the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) conference organised by Connected Development (CODE) in partnership with BudgIT, a civic advocacy organisation, in Abuja.

 

On Monday, BudgIT had said there are no comprehensive details of disbursed COVID-19 funds on the government’s open treasury platform.

 

But speaking at the conference on Thursday, Agba said out of the N500 billion for COVID-19, N288 billion has been released to implementing agencies.

According to NAN, he also noted that the total package includes “N500 billion stimulus from special federal government account in the budget, and N1.8 trillion through financial institutions”.

 

“From the N500 billion stimuli from the revised 2020 budget, there is provision of N126 billion to build resilient health system in Nigeria to prevent possible loss of lives,” he said.

 

“The government set out to improve health infrastructure by building molecular labs in 52 federal medical centres and teaching hospitals across the country.

 

 “Others include provision of isolation centres, paying hazard allowance for health professionals, providing personal protective equipment for security agencies and hospitals to continue their operations, supporting agencies like the NCDC, NAFDAC, among others, to play their roles in combating this pandemic.

 

“Most of the MDAs received at least 50 percent of the budget for projects. Like ministry of agriculture, which has N34 billion as budget for rural roads,  was given 50 percent of that amount and they were also given 50 percent of the amount for land preparation, which is N1.25 billion.

 

“The mass rural electrification and solar power strategy had N6.2 billion released to them; FERMA received 30 billion for bridges and major roads; ministry of trade and investment got N75 billion MSME programmes, while federal medical centres with about N49 billion budget, received 50 percent of that amount allocated.”

 

Agba said the government provided mass rural electrification and solar power projects, while the president also directed the disbursement of cash to additional one million households, as part of social intervention programmes to protect vulnerable persons affected by the pandemic.

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