Covid-19 2nd wave: Nigeria to spend N6.45 bln to boost oxygen production in 38 locations
Nigeria has earmarked N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations across the country as part of measures to enhance the treatment of Covid-19 patients who need oxygen.
The Minister of Finance and budget, Zainab Ahmed, who revealed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year said President Mohammadu Buhari approved the release of the funds for the production of oxygen, necessitated by the increased number of patients who need oxygen due to the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.
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Also, the Health Minister 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 percent of the sum has since been released to the States and the FCT.
Besides, the Federal Government has also allocated N35 billion in 2021 for the Fund of healthcare related projocts.
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 to 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 percent (1 percent) of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) — grants by international donor partners; and funds from any other source.
Other updates at the NEC meeting, presided over by the Vice President yemi Osinbajo include account balances as of January 20, 2020 given by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, as follows:
Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as of January 20, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as of January 19, 2021, N28, 800, 711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as of January 19, 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.