As NSIA, Global Citizens raise fund for health infrastructure
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Vice President (VP), Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, presents Nigeria an opportunity to re-set the critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
He spoke, yesterday, on a Webinar to announce the launch of the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, organized by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the Global Citizens Fund.
His words, “The COVID-19 challenges is also an unprecedented opportunity for us as a nation and as a people to re-set the critical sectors of the economy.
“The deep plunge in oil earnings, in business and commerce especially on account of the lockdown means that we must develop a comprehensive economic and social response. And this is a mandate that the president has given us as a government to achieve through several initiatives.”
The VP applauded the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority for being at the forefront of providing unprecedented funding of the nation’s critical social infrastructure especially in the health sector at the tertiary level.
He assured that the efforts of the Global Citizens Fund to build a Primary Health Centre in each of the nation’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) would be supported by the federal government in terms of finance and technical knowhow.
In her comments the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said that many Nigerians were facing unprecedented challenges because of the pandemic which was creating “extreme difficulties for government.”
She stated further: “There is also a very negative impact on the people all over the country and it continues to grow. The shock of the COVID-19 is something very unusual as it affects supply as well as demand. Supply is disrupted due to morbidity as well as mortality and high cost of business, as well as, tightening of credit, while demand is also falling due to uncertainty.”
The minister said that the federal government would continue to give priority to frontline spending in the health sector to take care of the sick and slow down the spread of the virus.
Ahmed noted that Global Citizens partnership was much welcome to work with the federal government in tackling the COVID-19 challenge in the country.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji, said that his organization was established to drive the Nigerian economy in the interest of the Nigerian public, adding that its intervention in the COVID-19 pandemic was in line with its mandate, especially, as it would act as fund manager of the Global Citizens’ Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund.
He added that the authority has played leading roles in establishing state-of-the-art tertiary health facilities across Nigerian cities, especially in Lagos, Kano and Owerri, among others.
NSIA investments are made through three distinctive funds: The Future Generations Fund, The Nigeria Infrastructure Fund, and the Stabilisation Fund.