The Federal Government says it has released N288 billion out of the N500bn appropriated for COVID-19 intervention programmes under the economic sustainability plan.
Laolu Akande, spokesman of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this in a statement released on Thursday.
Akande said the intervention has led to the provision of 2.1 million jobs and construction of over 4000km of federal and rural roads which according to him, have been completed up to 30 percent.
“Ministers and heads of agencies executing the Buhari administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan reported significant improvement in the implementation of the plan, as the Federal Government ramps up funding for projects across sectors to impact more Nigerians,” the statement read.
“Already more than 50% of the appropriated sum for the ESP has been released.
“Under the Survival Fund scheme specifically, 1.3 million jobs have been saved, and another 774,000 jobs created from the Public Works Programme. This is apart from the total 26,021 jobs created from construction and rehabilitation works.
“Other highlights include the release of 100% (i.e. N5bn) appropriation for the COVID-19 Aviation intervention; 50% funding (N26bn) for the Public Works scheme hiring 774,000 persons across the country, among others.”
Akande quoted Clem Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, as saying that N1.5 billion, representing 50 percent of the amount appropriated for job creation under the ministry, has been released.
He said the federal ministry of women affairs also received N625 million for empowerment programmes while the ministry of youths and sports acknowledged the release of N2.6 billion for the youth employability improvement scheme.
“In strengthening the health system, the minister said 52 Federal Tertiary Health Institutions received N23.57 billion (N853m each) for the establishment of ICUs, Molecular Laboratories and Isolation Centres,” the statement read.
“The progress report presented by the minister showed that in 38 FTHs implementation is at an average of 47% completion with procurement process completed and equipment supply in progress.
“Expected outcomes from the interventions in the sector include 520 fully equipped ICU beds available in FTHs; 52 Isolation wards with an aggregate of 1040 beds and associated patient monitoring equipment and 52 molecular labs with the capacity to carry out a minimum of 150 PCR test a day.
“Other releases for the health sector, according to the minister include, N10 billion for the establishment of a bio-vaccine laboratory; N5.02 billion representing 50% to the Ministry of Health.”
Akande quoted Osinbajo as commending the ministers for the job done, saying Nigerians cannot be allowed to suffer.
“It is important for us to continually bear in mind that we really have a duty to ensure that the vast majority of our people are not allowed to suffer,” he said.
“So, I feel we should be thinking more about the next thing that we need to do.”