As the race to save Nigeria from the claws of Coronavirus (COVID-19) gets tougher, the federal government has explained how the billions being donated by private organisations and individuals towards the fight against pandemic is being utilized.
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Recently, there have been questions and speculations on how the government is spending and channelling these funds, especially after the ministry of finance requested for more ventilators from the billionaire owner of Tesla, Elon Musk.
At the daily briefing by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 in Abuja, however, the National Coordinator of the taskforce, Dr Sani Aliyu, revealed that the billions donated by well-meaning Nigerians and organisations are not going to the coffers of the government.
The funds, according to Dr Aliyu, is in a separate account and the federal government has no access to it.
Dr Aliyu stated: “The private sector has a separate fund which is run through the Coalition Against Coronavirus Disease.
“That’s where you get most of the announcements that this person has given a billion and this is a separate account. It has nothing to do with the government and the money will not come to the government.
“We appreciate the help of the private sector in helping us and they will be providing us with commodities but the money they are currently collecting will not come to the government.
“It is a separate bank account.”
This is also coming about a weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari saluted the public-spiritedness of wealthy Nigerians and organizations for standing up to be counted in the battle against the pandemic.
The President commended members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, made of top CEOs including Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Jim Ovia of UBA, Access, GT, and Zenith Banks, respectively, for their contributions and being in the vanguard of encouraging others in the private sector to do same.