Buhari approves N6.45bn for oxygen plants to tackle COVID-19
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday approved the release of N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide to enhance the treatment of COVID-19 patients who require oxygen.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while speaking virtually at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting that was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja,
According to her, there had been an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients who need oxygen which necessitated the president’s approval of the said funds.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, informed the council that sequel to Buhari’s decision to activate the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund based on the National Health Act, N55.1billion was approved in 2018 and that 50% of the sum had since been released to the states and the FCT.
According to a statement by the vice president’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Federal Government had also allocated N35 billion for 2021 for the fund.
The fund was established under Section 11 of the National Health Act (NHA Act), as the principal funding vehicle for the Basic Minimum Package of Health Services (BMPHS).
The statement explained that the fund seeks to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).