CBN Denies Negligence Of COVID-19 Research Funding

…Approves N10bn Applications for Healthcare Intervention

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By Shola Akingboye -28th May, 2020

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed claims that it is doing nothing to fund researches into COVID-19 health care solutions as the apex bank roles out measures for accessing its facilities with the approval of about N10 billion in that regard..

The CBN over the weekend urged scientific bodies interested in accessing it’s research grant for COVID -19 solutions to formally apply for the grant but with the caveat to show what it has done.

The CBN disclosed that it has approved about N10 billion worth of applications for the loan component of the CBN’s COVID-19 intervention in the healthcare sector.

RegentAfrica Times earlier reported the allegations from the Guild of Medical Directors on the accusation of the CBN lackadaisical approach to the COVID-19 domestic research work. The body accused the CBN Governor of sitting on the requests while putting together a so-called ‘framework’ for such funding.

Reacting, the spokesman for the CBN and Director Corporate Communications Isaac Okorafor said: “grants are guided by procedures and not a free for all. They have to be applied for and processed.”

Isaac Okorafor further noted that “there are guidelines which must be followed. There are qualifications for grants and they have to be met.”

He added that those applying for the research grant will have their proposals authenticated “by relevant government agencies such as the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the scientific foundation of such research.”

Okorafor cautioned that while grants may be seen as free, yes “they are not just handed out to anyone who stretches out their hands. You must have a plan, demonstrable and genuine scientific efforts, intentions and above all you have to apply for them.”

Two weeks ago, the CBN instituted a grant to fund researches for COVID-19 but the CBN spokesman insisted that due process must be followed in disbursing the grant.

According to him, “some persons have an aversion for due process but we do not encourage that at the CBN. I advise those who are interested to follow due process and apply for the grant.” Okoroafor admonished.

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