The United States said on Wednesday that it has spent $32.8m to support Nigeria’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said the country has put in place mechanisms to monitor and ensure judicious utilisation of the financial aid provided to help Nigeria in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
She spoke in a teleconference with select journalists, disclosing that since the COVID-19 crisis started, the US has committed $237m to support Africa’s COVID-19 response with the global interventions amounting to $2.4bn.
She assured that just like other interventions, the US government has put in place strict monitoring mechanism and surveillance to block diversion of the funds. Ambassador Leonard also said there was nothing unusual with the current evacuation of American citizens in Nigeria, noting that many of them only wanted to reunite with their families having exhausted their short stay in Nigeria.
The US envoy who expressed satisfaction with the response of the Federal Government to the COVID-19 pandemic assured that more financial and technical support would be provided to the Federal Government in the fight against COVID-19.
Apart from donating ventilators to Nigeria, she added that the US government has a very robust presence of the US Centre for Disease Control (CDS) and the US Aids (USAID) working closely with the Nigerian authorities to transform the country’s COVID-19 response.
Asked on whether the US plans to support Nigeria with the COVID-19 drug, Remdesivir, which was said to have been developed in the US, she said the medication is still undergoing a lot of experimentation and clinical study.
She said the US would not hesitate to support the country with the medication after completing the requisite approval process, saying the American government was open to collaboration as “the whole world is trying to figure out what is the most effective way of dealing with the virus.”
“We are very pleased to be making these commitments to Nigeria. We are very eager to collaborate on measures for curing, mitigating and preventing the spread of the virus,” she said.