CBN to Sponsor Research on COVID-19


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The Governor of Central Bank (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, says that the bank will partner government and relevant private sector organisations to provide modern facilities in the heath sector and sponsor research on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Emefiele stated this on Friday in Asaba during a condolence visit to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta at the Government House, Asaba, following the death of Pa. Arthur Okowa on Jan. 28 and the Majority Leader of the state’s House of Assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere, who died a day earlier.

He said that the bank intervention would provide sophisticated health facilities in the country to address healthcare needs of the people.

He noted that such intervention had become necessary in view of the widening gap in the health service provision, adding that it was also in response to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also disclosed that the Monetary Policy Committee was working to sponsor research in pharmaceuticals on different diseases, and would in addition, give funds to private sector participants in the health sector to build pharmaceutical plants in the country.

The governor added that the bank was ready to fund research on COVID-19 and in medicine and pharmacy so as to elevate Nigeria, “and we are determined to do this.

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“This is a very difficult time not just in Nigeria but also in the global community where we have seen unprecedented health crises that devastated the entire world.

“We have decided as the Central Bank to support the efforts of government; we will do everything possible to ensure that we upgrade the health facilities in the country.

“We can say with all certainty that in the very near future, Nigerians will begin to see what the Central Bank is going to do to show that we really mean what we are doing.

“No doubt, it is not just about building health facilities, but we have also tried as much as possible to extend various facilities to people that are interested in upgrading the health facilities in Nigeria.

“We are interested in supporting people who want to build pharmaceutical plants in Nigeria, and that is the reason I never minced words in practically all the Monetary Policy Committee meetings. We read out to the world through the Monetary Policy Committee to help to alleviate the health crisis in Nigeria.”

Emefiele lauded Gov. Okowa for his giant strides in the development of Delta, especially in the health sector and pledged that CBN would partner with him in the task of making healthcare affordable and available for residents of the state.

Condoling with the governor, he said “your dad had sown great seed not just in our kingdom but in Ika nation and in Delta as a whole.

“The people of Ika nation and Deltans will miss him dearly. We pray that his soul and all the faithful departed rest in peace.

“We also condole with you on the passing of Tim Owhefere, the Majority Leader of State House of Assembly, who was another fine gentleman and good lawmaker.’’

Responding, Okowa commended CBN for the intervention in the country’s health sector, saying that any funding that would help to reduce the widening gap in the health sector was in the best interest of many families in the country.

He said that the apex bank’s policy on upgrade of health facilities and agricultural revolution in the country was a move that would enhance the health of Nigerians and stimulate the nation’s economy.

According to Okowa, health and agriculture remain the mainstay of any growing economy such as Nigeria and CBN’s sponsorship of research in the health sector and provision of funds to upgrade facilities in both public and private hospitals will be a new dawn in healthcare services in the country.

He thanked Emefiele for identifying with his family in this period of grief, and said that they had been consoled by the fact that their late father died in Christ and made positive impact in the society.

He said “as I appreciate you for this condolence visit, I must thank you for the policies you have put forth through the CBN and the most recent is funding agriculture.

“I believe that the current policies being made by the CBN are such that will help to reduce that gap both in the private sector and in the public sector.”

Emefiele was accompanied on the visit by the CBN Deputy Governor, Economic Policy Directorate, Dr Kingsley Obiora.

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