The chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, has said at a press conference in the National Assembly yesterday, that the Senate was monitoring the use of Covid-19 funds.

The conference was to inform Nigerians on the forthcoming annual legislative summit on health which is to be attended by all major stakeholders in the country.

He said the legislature was carrying out its oversight functions, and that they were trailing the spending on COVID-19.

“The allocation to the health sector from the intervention fund is about N86 billion while the balance was for the other ministries departments and agencies (MDAs) relevant to the efforts at curbing the pandemic.

“Monitoring the utilisation of the fund in the health sector is easy. We are looking at specific interventions in designated health facilities and ensuring that the funds were also deployed to case management since COVID-19 patients were supposed to be treated free at the public health facilities,” he said.

Oloriegbe said the fund was meant to boost research and development of vaccines through the funding of relevant activities being undertaken by institutions such as the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and the Nigeria Institute for Medical Laboratory Technology (NIMLT).

He explained that contrary to the perception in some quarters that the focus on COVID-19 would result in the neglect of other diseases plaguing Nigeria, the pandemic must be seen as an opportunity to address other health challenges in the country.

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