Buhari increases duty tour allowance for public servants
Buhari

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, launched a N62 billion Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN) intended to drive Nigeria’s effort to end AIDS as a public health threat and make treatment available every year to more people living with the disease.

Performing the ceremony at the presidential villa, Abuja, the president pledged that his administration would continue to prioritise health interventions to address killer diseases and public health emergencies.

”At the last United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, I made a call for a renewed global action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa,” he said.

”Ending AIDS as a public health threat in Nigeria will require increased domestic funding. We have continued to make good our commitment of placing more people living with HIV on treatment annually using national resources.

”However, strong domestic resource mobilisation with an enduring partnership and shared responsibility is required to sustain the response to HIV and other emerging public health emergencies,” he said.

President Buhari noted that Nigeria’s purposeful partnership with the private sector in the response to COVID 19 pandemic had provided a readily available financing solution to leverage on to sustain the HIV response.

He commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS for their efforts in establishing the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria to secure a generation of babies free of HIV.

He also expressed delight with the attendance in person of notable global key players in HIV response and from the private sector at the event and the pledges made.

Buhari added: ”Going forward, I hope The HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will galvanise more of the private sector and other partners to surpass the target of Sixty-Two billion naira in the next five years.”

In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced that since 2005 about 6.2 billion dollars has been spent on HIV response in Nigeria.

He added: ”About 80 per cent of the funds were contributed by external donors, mainly the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Private Sector contributed 0.1 per cent to 2 per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government.”

Chief Launcher and Chairman and CEO of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote said the mission of the private sector-led fund proposed by NACA alongside the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) is to ensure mobilisation of resources towards the eradication of AIDS in Nigeria, starting with the Prevention of Mother-to-Child transmission of the virus.

”I am reminded that we have 2 million of our compatriots living with HIV/AIDS and it is our collective responsibility to bring this number down to zero,” he said.

Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, appealed to individuals and corporate organisations in the country to donate generously toward the Fund, currently chaired by Dr Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc.

”We would like the private sector to work in partnership with the Federal Government on a 50-50 basis which we believe will help us eliminate Mother-to-Child transmission of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria,” he said.

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