The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has expressed shock at the poor state of Nigeria’s healthcare infrastructure.
Mustapha gave the expression while speaking during a meeting between the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday.
He said his role as the chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19 afforded him the opportunity to see the current state of Nigeria’s healthcare system.
Mustapha said the task force now has plans of laying a legacy foundation for the immediate, medium and long-term development of the health system, following the emergence of Coronavirus in the country.
“I can tell you for sure, I never knew that our entire healthcare infrastructure was in the state in which it is until I was appointed to do this work,” the SGF said.
He said if developed countries are overwhelmed and struggling to contain the coronavirus, “then Nigeria needs to improve its own”.
“My prayer is that Nigeria’s situation does not escalate to that extent because the country lacked what is required to handle the situation,” he added.
Mustapha also harped on the need for transparency and accountability in managing the health crisis, adding that the task force will not be directly involved in the disbursement of cash donations for COVID-19.
He also urged the legislature to deepen its oversight function by coming up with legislation that will make it easier for the executive to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the citizenry
“The accountant-general of the federation has already published the account details for collection through some commercial banks and also provided the modalities for its utilisation,” he said.
“All the main COVID-19 accounts shall be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). However, all non-cash donations shall be duly received by the PTF, acknowledged, documented and appropriately deployed.”