In response to ongoing inquiries regarding the management of COVID-19 intervention funds, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) issued an official statement on Thursday, November 23, 2023.
The NCDC, a pivotal national public health institute charged with spearheading preparedness, detection, and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies, emphasized the collaborative nature of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response. This effort encompassed diverse ministries, agencies, and departments within and beyond the health sector.
As part of this national endeavor, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF-COVID-19) was constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee Nigeria’s multi-pronged, inter-governmental actions to curb the virus’s spread and mitigate its impact. The NCDC, as a member of this task force, played a pivotal role in handling technical aspects such as epidemiology, surveillance, laboratory operations, infection prevention, control strategies, and research.
Specifically addressing recent claims, the NCDC categorically refuted the assertion of receiving N183.9 billion in COVID-19 intervention funds. The agency clarified that the disbursement and management of funds for the pandemic response were under the purview of the Presidential Steering Committee for COVID-19, formerly known as the Presidential Task Force, managed through the Resource and Coordination Technical Working Group. An exhaustive report delineating all funds received by the NCDC from this committee has been meticulously submitted to the Presidential Steering COVID-19 Committee, reinforcing the agency’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director General of the NCDC, affirmed the organization’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding the health of Nigerians. He highlighted the agency’s commitment to transparency, continual communication, and the dissemination of accurate and timely information on critical public health matters.
The NCDC, established by the enactment of the Bill for an Act in November 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari, operates with the core mission of protecting Nigerians’ health through evidence-based prevention strategies, integrated disease surveillance, and response mechanisms rooted in a One Health approach bolstered by research and a proficient workforce.
Signed by Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the statement from the NCDC aimed to address ongoing concerns and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of Nigerians while upholding transparent governance in the realm of public health.
This response comes amid heightened scrutiny and inquiries regarding the utilization of funds allocated for COVID-19 interventions, reflecting the agency’s dedication to accountability and clarity amidst public discourse.