The Federal Government has warned that Nigeria risks another pandemic after coronavirus in Nigeria if it fails to take advantage of opportunities presented by COVID-19 to develop its health infrastructure.
Naija News reports that the Secretary to the Government the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha raised the alarm while inaugurating the Board of Experts (BoE) of the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Monday.
According to the SGF: “If we lose the sense of the moment, we will be confronted with another pandemic and we will find ourselves starting all over again.
“If we had built on the experiences of Ebola and other epidemics that we have dealt with in the past, probably today we wouldn’t have started with about two molecular laboratories for the testing of COVID-19.”
Mustapha stressed that: “If you travel the shores of this country, you will find out that we have over 10,000 public primary healthcare centres scattered in wards and villages across the country, ill-equipped, ineffective and not being put into use but we keep building them.”
The Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 appealed to members of the Board of Experts to also look at governance structures in the healthcare sector apart from your primary responsibilities.
SGF Mustapha said COVID-19 “has exposed the weaknesses in our health system, in our governance system, in our security infrastructure, in our inclusiveness and creating social safety nets for our people.”
He warned that: “It will be the greatest disappointment of our time and of our generation if we do not seize the opportunity of the moment to redress all the deficiencies of the defects that we’ve had in our health and other infrastructure in this country.”
On the other hand, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said: “Currently, 20 projects valued at ₦26.278 Billion have been funded under the ₦100billion credit support intervention for the healthcare industry.”
The CBN Governor said: “some of the firms that have been able to obtain funding include hospitals, research centers and pharmaceutical industries.”