Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN,), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has announced that the apex bank is ready to support researchers, science-based institutions and biotechnology firms with N100 billion grant in the quest for a homegrown vaccine to fight COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Emefiele, who spoke at the commissioning of ThisDay Dome Testing, Treating, Tracing and Isolation Centre in Abuja, said the pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on the global economy, impacting all nations big and small.
According to him, so far, the Coalition Against COVID-19, (CACOVID) has raised over N27billion to fund this initiative.
He said the donation received so far are being used to build well-equipped isolation centres across the 36 states of the federation.
”’The ThisDay Dome Testing, Treating, Tracing and Isolation Centre being launched today, represents a part of the support being provided by the CACOVID alliance. So far, CACOVID has equipped and handed over isolation centres in Rivers, Enugu, Kwara, Ondo and Borno.
”It is expected that other isolation centres will be handed over in the other states of the country including FCT, by May 23rd 2020. As part of measures put in place to cushion the effect of the COVID-19, CACOVID has provided food items to poor and Indigents Nigerians,” he said.
He said Nigeria’s economy is exposed to triple shock following the spread of the disease.
”In Nigeria, our economy is exposed to triple. Shock in supply and demand and shock revenue. Permit me to say that we are currently faced with public health and economy crises of unprecedented proportion driven primarily, by 55% drop in crude oil between January and May 2020.
”This unparalleled shock requires that the federal and the state government along with the private sector work together to address this challenges in order to preserve life and restore economic activities and reset the economy of our dear county.
”I which to acknowledge, however, that our ability to restore the growth of our economy is dependent on how we address our public health crises occasioned by the COVID 19.
”It is in the realization of this fact that the CBN recently launched a N100billion Nara health care intervention fund. Practitioners in the pharmaceutical and health care sector will be able to access finance at single-digit interest rate through these funds.