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COVID-19: Buhari approves N6.45bn for new oxygen plants


Oba Darasimi

Federal Government has earmarked N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide in a bid to enhance the treatment of Covid-19 patients who need oxygen.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told the National Economic Council, NEC presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, that President Muhammadu Buhari had already approved the funds.

Ahmed said the President approved the release of the funds for the production of oxygen, necessitated by the increased number of patients who need oxygen due to the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.

Lagos state  has scaled up its effort at curbing COVID-19 related deaths   after it  activated an Oxygen Plant within the premises of the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), Yaba, to provide swift support to COVID-19 patients who require oxygen therapy.

Similarly at the meeting, the Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire informed the Council that sequel to President 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 has since been released to the States and the FCT.

Besides, the Federal Government has also allocated N35 billion for 2021 for the Fund.

Recall that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF or “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 Fund serves to increase the fiscal space and overall financing to the health sector to assist Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Funding of the BHCPF would be derived from contributions including — an annual grant from the Federal Government of Nigeria of not less than one per cent (1%) of its Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) — grants by international donor partners; and funds from any other source.

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