We’ve spent N502.3bn on COVID19 intervention – Finance Minister
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, revealed that the Federal government has spent N502.3 billion so far, in order to stabilize the economy after the country has being hit by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports by The Sun, Ahmed disclosed this while speaking at the national dialogue on COVID-19 economic impact and assessment of national and states’ recovery plans and policy options in Abuja on Tuesday, August 10. According to the her, Nigeria was deeply affected by the pandemic because it was recovering from recession before COVID-19 led to an all-time fall of crude oil prices which is the economic pillar of Nigeria.
According to the minister, the key interventions the N502 billion was used for include: the establishment of a N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to finance the upgrade and improvement of healthcare facilities; the creation of a Special Public Works Programme to employ 774,000 people, among others.
“You know that in the 2020 budget, N500 billion was appropriated and it was fully funded. But apart from that, we also have the economic sustainability plan totaling N2.3 billion in the form of intervention funds from the CBN, which means loans are given to the private sector and they pay back later.” Ahmed said.
The minister also said, that lessons have been learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially the importance of fixing the health sector of the country.
According to the minister, the various challenges plaguing the health sector propelled the incumbent to pursue proactive and people-oriented policies with an emphasis on human capital development and providing critical infrastructure for the well-being of Nigerians.