From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has requested debt relief from international financial institutions and developed countries.
It explained that the push for the debt relief was to enable the country to use its limited resources to strengthen its national bio-security and improve access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
It promised to mobilize support and cooperation from other debtor countries in Africa and beyond, to achieve the desired target.
The decision, which was contained in the communique released at the end of the National COVID-19 Summit with the theme “Pushing through the last mile to end the pandemic and build back better”, was endorsed by the participants including the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
The communique noted that the goal of the Summit was to review the COVID-19 response policy and programme implementation and make actionable recommendations for improved performance, coordination, ownership and sustainability at both the national and sub-national levels.
Over 700 participants drawn from all stakeholders involved in the national response and the international community, attended the Summit, either in-person and virtually.
Participants at the Summit also resolved that the current level of engagement with the organised private sector in strengthening the health sector should be encouraged and sustained, in addition to the “One Health” strategy and the requirements under the International health regulation which should be pursued vigorously.
The Summit pushed for the support of African countries in the collaborative process to end the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent and build back stronger public health systems being the theme of the Summit.
It, thus, appreciated the critical role played by the National Assembly in providing a legal framework and financial appropriation that enabled the execution of the policies and programmes of the national COVID-19 response.
It also commended the support and contribution of the private sector in providing technical, financial and material resources that greatly contributed to the successes achieved under the National Response.