Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the federal government cannot share funds donated by the private sector to fight coronavirus to Nigerians.
According to NAN, the minister gave reasons why the donated funds cannot be shared to citizens when he featured on “Politics Nationwide”, a Radio Nigeria programme, on Tuesday.
Responding to a request that a part of the funds be shared to Nigerians to cushion the effect of the lockdown on them, the minister said the funds are meant for the development of healthcare infrastructure and cannot be used to provide palliatives.
Mohammed said the presidential task force for the control of coronavirus neither had the money nor was in control of it, and cannot share a penny from it to anyone.
“The private sector donors are not giving any cash to the federal government and they have made this clear to the people,” he was quoted to have said.
“They said they will support the fight against the pandemic by asking government where they want healthcare infrastructure to be provided.
“What government has done is to request them to build a 30-bed isolation ward and a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit in each state in the country.
“In addition, the federal government has given them a list of equipment and commodities that will also be needed
“Therefore, the issue of using their donations to provide palliative cannot arise.”
He said in addressing the issue of palliatives, every country adopted a peculiar strategy that was workable and acceptable.
The minister said the federal government had taken a lot of measures to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on Nigerians, including food distribution, cash transfers, and loan repayment waivers.
He said Nigeria was leading and remains the best in Africa in the area of provision of palliative to citizens as the world battles the scourge.