By Zainab Olawunmi
The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has denied knowledge of Nigeria’s poor healthcare system before the coronavirus outbreak.
Mustapha spoke when the presidential task force on COVID-19 met with the leadership of the national assembly in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said he only became aware of the situation after his appointment as chairman of the task force.
The SGF said the appointment was an eye-opener to the decay of the country’s healthcare infrastructure, saying an improvement needs to take place.
“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,” he said.
“My prayer is that Nigeria’s situation does not escalate to that extent because the country lacked what is required to handle the situation.
The SGF said there is need for transparency and accountability in managing the health crisis.
He said the task force will not be directly involved in the disbursement of cash donations for COVID-19.
“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.”