The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said that it did not advocate for a $200 million loan for the importation and local production of mosquito nets in the country.
A statement made available to Tribune Online on Wednesday, in Abuja, signed by its Head of Public Relations Unit, Mohammad Ohitoto, said the attention of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency has been drawn to an online publication quoting the ED/CEO NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib of advocating for a $200 million loan for the importation and local production of mosquito nets in the country.
“This is to inform Nigerians that this statement is not only untrue, but it is also a figment of the imagination of the writer as the CEO never discussed the malaria programme nor granted an interview on the malaria programme.
“It is pertinent to state that the Malaria programme is a responsibility of the National Malaria Elimination Programme (FMOH). Therefore, the Chief Executive has no reason whatsoever to discuss or advocate for funding for any intervention. This is outright fake news which should be disregarded by all well-meaning Nigerians,” the statement said.
The Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Loans on Tuesday kicked against the proposal by the Federal Ministry of Health to borrow $200m under the Malaria Programme to buy mosquito nets in the 2022 budget.
The committee’s condemnation was in response to the Ministry of Health’s submission about its intention to borrow the amount for the purchase of mosquito nets for 13 vulnerable states.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mahmuda Mamman had justified the proposal before the panel as he said “the loan if approved by the National Assembly and accessed, will be used to medically fight malaria in the 13 orphan states which cover 208 local government Councils and 3, 536 primary health care centres”
Angered by his submission, the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe and other senators present descended heavily on the Permanent Secretary and the Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib.
Oloriegbe wondered why N450m was budgeted for Malaria treatment in the proposed 2022 budget and yet, plans are being made to borrow $200m for the same purpose.
He said, “This is unacceptable. We should be able to put our feet down when dealing with these donor agencies or creditors as regards loans to be taken and what it should be expended on.”