Senate rejects health ministry’s proposal to borrow N82 billion to buy mosquito nets

Senate rejects health ministry’s proposal to borrow N82 billion to buy mosquito nets

The Nigerian Senate has condemned a proposal by the Federal Ministry of Health to borrow $200 million (N82,070,388,916.76) under the mal

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The Nigerian Senate has condemned a proposal by the Federal Ministry of Health to borrow $200 million (N82,070,388,916.76) under the malaria program to buy mosquito nets in the 2022 budget.

A member of the Senate Committee on Health, Gershom Bassey on Tuesday, October 26, opposed the move by the Ministry during the 2022 budget defense of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Bassey told the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mahmuda Mamman that the proposal with respect to borrowing $200 million (about N82 billion at the official exchange rate of N410 to a dollar) to purchase mosquito nets was outrageous considering the amount involved.

The Committee’s condemnation was in response to the Permanent Secretary’s earlier submission of the intention to borrow the said amount for the purchase of mosquito nets.

However, the Permanent Secretary had justified the proposal before the panel.

He said, “The loan if approved by the National Assembly and accessed, will be used to medically fight malaria in the 13 orphan states which cover 208 local government Councils and 3, 536 primary health care centers.”

The panel further demanded the total needs of the agency to ascertain if there was a need for borrowing.

Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe wondered why N450m was budgeted for Malaria treatment in the proposed 2022 budget and yet, plans are being made to borrow $200m for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib had said the $200 million was for importation and local production of mosquito nets.