The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has revealed why the Federal Government cannot share to Nigerians the funds donated by private sector towards the fight against coronavirus COVID-19.
KanyiDaily had reported that some Nigerians had called on the government to share the billion donated as palliatives by public-spirited individuals and private institutions to the people to cushion the effect of the extended coronavirus lockdown.
Reacting to this call when featured on a Radio Nigeria programme, “Politics Nationwide,” on Tuesday, Mohammed said the funds donated by the private sector were meant for the development of healthcare infrastructure and could not be used to provide palliatives during the lockdown.
The minister said 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,” he said.
“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.”
Mohammed further said that in addressing the issue of palliative, every country adopted a peculiar strategy that was workable and acceptable.
He said that Nigeria remains the best in Africa in the area of provision of palliative to citizens as the world battle 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 loan repayment waivers.
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