Senate rejects Health Ministry’s request to borrow $82bn to purchase mosquito nets

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

A member of the Senate Committee on Health, Gershom Bassey, spoke out against the proposal by the Ministry at the Federal Ministry of Health’s 2022 budget defense on Tuesday.

Bassey told Mahmuda Mamman, the Permanent Secretary, that the idea to borrow $200 million (approximately N82 billion at the official exchange rate of N410 to a dollar) to purchase mosquito nets was ridiculous given the sum involved.

The Committee’s criticism came in reaction to the Permanent Secretary’s previous testimony that he intended to borrow the aforementioned sum to acquire mosquito nets.

The tribunal also demanded the agency’s overall needs in order to ascertain whether borrowing was required.

Meanwhile, Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, stated that the $200 million was for mosquito net imports and local production.

Committee Chairman on Health in the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, in his reaction, said the idea of borrowing money from World Bank is “money and job for the boys” by somebody in Washington, D.C.

 

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