The Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), has asked the Federal Government to ensure efficient and transparent utilisation of the N500 billion COVID-19, received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a stimulus package for COVID-19 intervention.
Coordinator, Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN), Dr. Aminu Magashi, who made the call at the weekend in Abuja, explained that the fund was appropriated into the revised budget of the financial year 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving a breakdown of the fund to agencies in the critical sectors, he revealed that 50 per cent of the funds have since been released to the majority of the health agencies concerned, adding that some have begun utilisation of the funds in addressing the needs they were meant for.
He said: “The health sector received a whooping sum of ₦126 billion for intervention in key critical areas while non-health sectors got ₦374 billion.
“The ₦126 billion for the health sector was targeted to be used for capital and recurrent expenditures. ₦86 billion was allocated for capital projects, while ₦40 billion for recurrent budget items.
“Some agencies and departments that got funding for capital expenditure include the Food and Drug services department of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) which got ₦10 billion for local manufacturing of vaccine, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) got ₦2 billion for the upgrade of laboratory testing of vaccines, and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) got ₦2 billion for Research and Development (R&D).
“₦18 billion was earmarked for the procurement of molecular laboratory equipment for 21 University Teaching Hospitals and 31 Federal Medical Centres/Specialists Hospitals. Also, all University Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) got ₦7.78 billion for the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”