…CACOVID Supports FG With N43Bn
The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that the decline in crude prices and the containment measures put in place to deal with the public health crisis in the height of COVID-19 lockdown significantly led to a constriction in business activities, with resulting implications for federal and state governments, as well as households and businesses.
Emefiele noted that cognizant of the funding challenge faced by Federal and State governments and the need to improve the capacity of the nations health institutions to deal with emerging cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Bankers Committee, comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Deposit Money Banks as well as key stakeholders in the private sector came together to set up an alliance in March 2020, known as the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
Addressing the media in Abuja, the Governor, said that on the the expenditure side, the CACOVID has far incurred expenditure , in the sum of N43,272,562,831 on the acquisition of not only medical equipment and supplies , but also Food palliatives for the vulnerable amongst us.
The funds raised by CACOVID according to him, was used to support 3 key priorities.
These priorities include, Medical Facilities and Equipment.
The CBN Governor explained that working with other stakeholders, CACOVID developed 39 fully equipped isolation centers across the 36 States of the Country including the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) .
The sum of N4,194,262,899 was spent in Building Isolation Centers. In addition, medical equipments such as PCR test kits for suspected cases of COVID-19 were procured along with other required medical items at a cost of N9,017,561,723. This support by CACOVID enabled many states to deal with an unexpected surge in cases of COVID-19.
Another area of intervention was in Food relief programs.
Under this the group in efforts to cushion the effects of the lockdown on vulnerable Nigerians affected by the restrictions in movement, CACOVID provided palliatives in the form of essential food items to 1.7m households, which is equivalent to supporting 8 million Nigerians.
A total of N28,767,590,517 was spent procuring these Food supplies, revealed Emefiele, adding, “These palliatives were acknowledged and disbursed by various state governments; and a schedule showing the various quantities and dates of delivery will also be posted on our website for public scrutiny. Our intention for distributing these items through the State Government , just like in the case of the isolation centers was based on the thinking that the state governments has the closest contacts with the most vulnerable in our society for whom these support were meant.”
Another key intervention area was Communication Plans during which CACOVID worked to improve awareness in rural communities on the COVID-19 virus, and the measures community health workers and other members of society should take when someone in the community is suspected of having symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. Print, TV, radio and social media were leveraged as part of CACOVID communication plans.
“We would like to use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to well-meaning Nigerians and businesses, who supported CACOVID in its effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, as well as in the support provided to vulnerable Nigerians.”
He pointed out that the ultimate objective of CACOVID was to work with the government in providing support in areas that would result in improved health and societal outcomes. “We sought to aid the government’s in improving testing capability, and management of positive cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. In addition, CACOVID was expected to provide palliatives to vulnerable members of our society, particularly those who earn daily incomes, and had been severely affected by the lockdown.”
As a result of these objectives, CACOVID requested and indeed received an outpouring of support from over 200 well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations, who provided in kind donations, as well as funds to the tune of N39,646,100,039.00 billion in support of the fight against COVID-19.
In order to ensure that these funds were judiciously utilized, a transparent and accountable framework was put in place by highly rated firms of chartered accountants, said Emefiele, adding, “We engaged KPMG Professional Services as book keepers and Messrs Enrst and Young as Auditors. Ladies and Gentlemen , in Line with our promise to be open and Transparent in the utilization of the funds donated by our partners, CACOVID has today decided to provide the general public with full details relating to the procurement of goods and services along with the disbursement schedule of procured items. These details will be posted on our website in due course.”