The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and the Nigerian Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) have signed N3. 7 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the World Bank COVID-19 response support to states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi signed on behalf of forum while the Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu signed on behalf of the centre.
Ihekweazu said each of the 36 states of the country and Abuja would get N100 million from the fund, which he said was to prevent, detect, and response to threat posed by COVID-19 at the state-level in Nigeria.
“Even before this outbreak our strategic direction in NCDC was to support the state to build health facilities. We did not know where we will get the resources from and we did not know we will be confronted with an outbreak of this extent,” he explained.
The DG added that with the outbreak of coronavirus, there is the need to invest in the nation’s health sector, not just at the federal level but at both states and even local government levels.
Ihekweazu pledged to accelerate the process of ensuring that state access the fund to make sure that they respond to COVID-19 outbreak.
NGF Chairman, Governor Fayemi believed that the fund would be of great assistance to the states in combatting the coronavirus pandemic.
“For us what is critical is not just to see the end to this pandemic, if there can be end. However, what is more important to us is that we do not waste this chances, but to use it to build the health infrastructure all over the 36 states,” the governor added.
The fund was part of Regional Surveillance System Enhancement (REDISSE) project to accelerate the development of the state health facilities.
RESDISSE Project Coordinator, Kemi Ladedeinde, disclosed that 34 states have submitted their prioritise plan for the N100 million.
The three states yet to submit the plan, according to Ladedeinde, as Lagos, Yobe and the FCT.