Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo

Government unveils Solidarity Support Fund for COVID-19

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In an attempt to further cushion the current hardships being visited on the general populace by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the nation’s economy, the Federal Government presented the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF).

ConsumerConnect gathered that the new Fund is an initiative of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), the Global Citizen, and other partners, intended to offer additional support for the country’s response to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, performed the virtual launch at the presidential villa, Abuja, FCT, Thursday, May 14.

According to the authorities, the Fund should enable Nigerians resident at home or in the Diaspora, and international donors to come together and directly contribute to Nigeria’s fight against the fatal pandemic.

Prof. Osinbajo, on the negative impacts of Coronavirus pandemic, said the establishment of the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund would support “the creation of a stronger, more resilient, more inclusive political economy and healthcare system.”

“This is a creative, forward-looking and thoughtful response to what is perhaps the most profound global and domestic challenge to health and the economy in human history.

“We need not belabour the point that the COVID-19 challenge is also an unprecedented opportunity for us as a nation and people to reset in critical sectors of the economy and social services,” posited the Vice-President.

Osinbajo stated: “…the deep plunge in oil earnings, the disruptions to business, and commerce on account of lockdowns have meant that we must develop a comprehensive economic response.”

According to him, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected lives and livelihoods of Nigerians in different ways.

However, he disclosed that the tasking situation offers an opportunity for the people and government to have a reset in critical sectors of the economy and social services.

Going forward, Osinbajo stressed that the Federal Government would ensure that Nigeria is properly positioned to deal with the fallouts of the pandemic.

“There are several initiatives in place now to attempt an effective response to the COVID-19 disaster.

“In addition, there is the drive to re-engineer and rethink our healthcare delivery systems.

“This by itself is a massive undertaking that will involve the states, local governments and the private healthcare community,” he said.

The Vice-President stated that he was excited to hear “that Global Citizen already has in mind a project to build healthcare centres across every local government in Nigeria.”

Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, in a statement said Osinbajo commended the NSIA, Global Fund and other partners involved in the creation of the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund.

Other participants in the virtual event include Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honurable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning; Mr. Jide Zeitlin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NSIA; Mr. Uche Orji, Managing Director, NSIA; Mr. Babatunde Folawiyo Chairman of Global Citizen Nigeria; and Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Vice-Chairman Global Citizen Nigeria.

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