The Federal Government of Nigeria has sought the approval of the National Assembly for a N500 billion coronavirus intervention fund.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, made the request on Saturday when she met with the leadership of the National Assembly.
The intervention fund would be used to cushion the effect of the pandemic, she said.
A statement by Ola Awoniyi, spokesman to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, quoted the minister as saying the funds will be sourced from various government accounts, in addition to government grants and loans.
Ahmed was quotes as saying, “What we are proposing is an establisment of a N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.
“This Fund that we are proposing, that should be created, will involve mopping up resources from various special accounts that the government as well as the Federation have, to be able to pull this N500 billion.
“Our general view is that this crisis intervention fund is to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified.
“The Federal Government also needs to be in a position to improve health care facilities not only in the states but to provide intervention to the states.
“We know that there will be a need for the parliament to agree and approve the taking of loans from these special accounts and we will be coming back with a proposed bill in that regard that will define what the fund will be used for.”
Meanwhile, billions of Naira have already been pledged to the federal government by individuals and organizations to help manage the pandemic.
Presently, Nigeria has recorded 209 coronavirus cases, 25 recoveries and four deaths.