It has been reported that 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.
According to reports, 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 reportedly justified the proposal before the pane, stating that, “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”
Reportedly angered by his submission, 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 stated “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.”
He added, “Don’t we have local manufacturers of mosquitoes nets and malaria drugs in Nigeria to patronise with the loan even if approved. This is a clear case of money and jobs for the boys by creditors luring you for loans and railroading you on what it should be spent on.”
He made it known, “Washington or whatever creditor offering the loan, should stop giving us money with one hand and taking it back with another hand through railroaded spending.”