Coronavirus: Finance Ministry Set to Release Funds for Emergency Response

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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning disclosed thursday that it is set to release the second tranche of the N620 million earmarked by the federal government to combat the Coronavirus epidemic which Nigeria has already recorded an index case.

During a tour of isolation centres located at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan had on Wednesday called on the finance ministry to release funds while bemoaning the lack of preparedness and frustration at the state of the isolation centres which were yet to be completed.

However, responding to an inquiry by THISDAY on the non-release of funds, Mr. Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, who is the Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the Minister of Finance, Budget and Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said the ministry had earlier released the first tranche of the N620 million and will today (Friday) release the second tranche.

Although he did not state how much the government released in the first tranche, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire had disclosed when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Health recently that N71 million had already been released to to the port health services, to strengthen operations.