President Buhari tasks Health Ministry on prudent use of $890m grant

By Hassan Zaggi

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, to ensure the judicious and effective utilization of the $890 million given to Nigeria by the Global Fund for the fight HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. The grant for the next three years.

President Buhari issued the directive at the virtual launch of the $890 million grant, for the period of 2021-2023, which will also support the establishment of resilient and sustainable systems for health in the country.

A statement signed by the  Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying that: ”Let me also emphasize here that this administration has zero tolerance for corruption and inefficient use of resources.

 ”In this regard, I hereby direct the Minister of Health ( Dr Osagie Ehanire)  to set up an accountability framework, to monitor the use of this fund and provide periodic performance reports to my office,” he said.

 President Buhari, however, assured donor agencies and development partners of judicious use of the grant, saying that the fund would complement investments in the health sector, help curb new infections, and reduce HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria-related morbidity and mortality.

He also applauded the Global Fund for their contribution of the sum of $51 million during the early stages of Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), test kits and scale up diagnostic capacity.

 ”I acknowledge the support of Development Partners, namely; the United States government, the United Nations System, Bilateral Agencies and various Local and International Foundations.

 ”I am pleased to say that, on our part, we are on track to fulfilling our co-financing commitments to the Global Fund for this new funding cycle and meeting our other commitments as and when due,” he said.

On Nigeria’s contribution to the Fund, the President announced that he approved $12 million to the last Global Fund Replenishment held in Lyon, France, representing a 20 per cent increase on the country’s immediate previous contribution.

Speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund programmes in Nigeria, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said Nigeria recently  signed eight grants amounting to $890 million to support HIV, TB and Malaria programmes and build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

Giving an overview of the grant, he said two of them are for HIV management, amounting to $310 million, and will be administered by two principal recipients namely the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and Family Health International .

Similarly, the Minister said two of the grants for malaria elimination, amounting to $439 million will be administered by two principal recipients- the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the Catholic Relief Services while the eighth and final grant worth USD 35 million for Resilient System for Sustainable Health (RSSH) has NACA as principal recipient.

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