FG Denies Receiving $5.6bn Covid-19 Donation

FG Denies Receiving $5.6bn Covid-19 Donation

The federal government has denied receiving $5.6billion for Covid-19 donations from anyone or cooperate Organisations to cushion the effect of the disease in the country.

The Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning Clement Ikanade Agba who rose to the defence of the government on Thursday in Abuja said he was reacting to social media publications by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) accusing the government to have received and mismanaged the total sum of $5.6billion.

According to Agba, the government introduced a stimulus of N2 trillion into the economy because it knew that with covid, the country will shut down like the entire world, insisting that the money was basically drawn from the special account and financial institutions.

“They are saying that the country received a donation of $5.6billion dollars. That is incorrect,” Agba said.

“Nigeria did not receive a donation of $5.6billion to take care of Covid19. What happened was that as a result of shortfall in Revenue due to Covid19 where there was disruptions in supply and the pandemic also led to a reduction in the price of crude.

“Because of the demand issue OPEC had to reduce production of the various member country and Nigeria was not left out.

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“We have the capacity of producing 2.5million barrels a day, but we were restricted to 1.4million barrels which affected Revenue and the price came as low as 12 dollars per barrel, so we needed to look for funds to ensure that we augment the budget to meet up with stimulating the economy.

“There are basically two sources of funding the 2.3trillion. The first 500billion have to come from special account which we embedded in the revised budget and the other 1.8billion.

“we also have programs to be financed by the financial sector and we have negotiated a 5percent interest rate with one year morotorium just to ensure that we are able to grow agriculture, look at the MSMEs, support the aviation sector and we also made some provision for the states.

“Off course you know that some states have some bail out funds, some went borrowing, we had to stop the repayment both for the principal and the interest.

“From the 500billion which came from the Budget we have released about 288billion to deal with those issues and some of it revolves around infrastructure.

“They are not things we do in a day, when the work is complete we pay the balance.

“This involves creation of assess roads in rural areas along the agro corridors to help food security because study have shown that about 40 to 60 percent of food produced is lost.

“Because of high food loses we think creation of assess road from the market is pertinent, we have about 377 rural roads currently ongoing across 266 rural communities.

“On the health side where we are also trying to build resilience, before now a lot of samples have to be taken out of the country for diagnosis because we didn’t have molecular laboratories. The country had just two but we are currently building 52 molecular laboratories in 52 federal medical centers and teaching hospitals.”

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