The Federal Government (FG) on Tuesday, March 30, in Benin said that the Japanese Government has offered $18.2 million (about N40.6 billion) financial support to strengthen Nigeria’s health sector.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba, made the disclosure; during his visit to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
He said his visit was to assess the utilisation of the N49 billion intervention fund released by the FG to 52 federal health institutions in the country.
He said that the Japanese support would come in the form of equipment and capacity building for medical personnel.
This support, according to the minister, is made possible from President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the Japanese Prime Minister in 2019.
“I just want to let you know that Irrua Specialist Hospital and the UBTH; both in Edo, are included among the seven centres, where this money will be spent.
“We also work with a USAID and I signed those agreements where they also gave us 200 ventilators; and I am aware that Irrua Specialist Hospital got three; and the UBTH also got three from the 200 ventilators that we spread throughout the country,” he said.
The minister asserted that one of the revelations of the COVID-19 was the vulnerability of the Nigerian health sector; hence the reason the FG graciously approved the N49 billion intervention fund; for 52 federal medical centres as well as teaching Hospitals in the country.
The fund, he explained, was meant to help build infrastructure in the sector to ensure resilience in the country’s health system.
Agba said that the funds were allocated for building molecular laboratories; provisions of a minimum of 10 bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU); isolation centre equipment; and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); among others, in the 52 health institutions.
“What this meant is that each of the centres got about N950 million to be able to purchase that necessary equipment; as well as the PPEs for their laboratories, the isolation centres and the ICUs,” said the minister.