Nigerian Health Minister says N1.9 bn ‘Ebola Fund’ will be used for cars, others

Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria's health minister.

Amidst angry reactions trailing the unavailability of the N1.9 billion released by President Goodluck Jonathan for the management of Ebola, the Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has denied the money was for the management of the virus.

Mr. Chukwu’s denial came Tuesday despite an official statement from the federal government to the contrary.

On August 8, at the peak of the Ebola crisis, the president, in a press release signed by Reuban Abati, announced the release of N1.9 billion as a Special Intervention Fund for the management of Ebola.

“President Jonathan also approved a Special Intervention Plan and the immediate release of N1. 9 billion for its implementation, to further strengthen on-going steps to contain the virus such as the establishment of additional isolation centres, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders, and the procurement of required items and facilities.

“The President commends the vigilance of aviation and health authorities in Lagos who identified and isolated the index case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian who flew into the country,” the statement read.

On Tuesday, however, Mr. Chukwu denied that the money was released for the management of Ebola. The Minister of Health said the money was approved for the Ministry of Health.

“The N1.9billion approved by the president was for the federal ministry of health. It is not for Ebola fund. It will be used to procure more vehicles for working which have been ordered. It would be used to procure more drugs that have been ordered…and other items.

“In the case of Lagos state, after the president met commissioners of health, the president then asked the minister of health to discuss with the technical people and money has been approved for Lagos state,” he said.

He further stated that though the world is at risk, the federal ministry of health is ready to face any outbreak.

“Excellence is a journey, it’s never a destination. The federal ministry of health is ready to face any outbreak.

“Every country and every citizen of the world remains at risk but Nigeria is on top of the situation so we don’t want people to panic. We should be in charge but not panic” he said.

The Lagos State government had complained that it did not receive the funds released for the management of Ebola despite being the epicentre of the management of the infection in the country.


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  • tuco

    “The N1.9billion approved by the president was for the federal ministry of health. It is not for Ebola fund. It will be used to procure more vehicles for working which have been ordered. It would be used to procure more drugs that have been ordered…and other items.”….yessooo and other items such as procurement in your pockets. Its obvious since Ebola is now down to one person as earlier reported, why spend whooping N1.9 billion on just one person, abi na today, its business as usual

    • AGBOOLA GALEEB OLADIPUPO

      So…….
      As at the time that president goodluck ebele jonathan made a public statement of releasing 1.9b to the nigerian ministry of health to tackle the deadly ebola vírus was he out of sense then?
      Do u think there might still be anoda cases of ebola?
      So stop justifying statements that are unjustifyable

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Tuco,

      And truly, that is where the problem with the GEJ-led FGN lies!

      The penchant for perfidy and his inability to insist on prioritisation of the use of public funds coupled with his inability to fire officials who derails whatever visions he manages to articulate!

      Of what use is the Ministry of Health budget for if this asinine Minister now wants to corner Ebola funds for what should routinely be covered by budgetary allocations?

      At the time the extra money was budgeted and announced, I was tempted to conclude it was funds meant to be stolen, but gave the benefit of the doubt to its handlers.

      May the Ebola virus decimate the families of whomever colludes to steal a kobo of this money that claimed the lives of Dr. Adadevoh and other health workers. Amen.

  • Enemona

    With this 1.9b, the missing 20b, and the billions earmarked for fighting BH, the war chest for 2015 is ready to be deployed.

    Thank God Lagos is handling the Ebola issue, if not, Nigeria’s case would have been worse than Liberia. Just look at everything this gov has thrown money at. After several billions on BH, soldiers are chased into Cameroun for lack of equipment to fight. People are being slaughtered daily as a result of some greedy individual’s ambitions. We still dey siddon look!

  • Fulani Nomad

    I love Nigeria. What about you?

  • BlackieUmukoro

    GEJ spoke of Ebola intervention fund and the NMA immediately called off their strike, so that they can have a piece of the action, while falana cried out about a possible diversion, in his usual manner to hoodwink the unsuspecting populace that he is on their side, meanwhile for each case he files in court, he smiles to the bank. Anyway the Minister of health has come out to clarify that there are no freebies. Case closedf, NMA can resume their strike

    • josh

      But d money hs bn diverted already nau. U no read d minister statement ni. He d minister said d money is meant for fed ministry of health not ebola management. Dt d money ll b used to procure vehicles and drugs which as bn ordered for. Guy, forget ds pple for abuja, na to chop alone dey want. Had it bn lagos state ministry of health didn’t take those necessary steps, where do u think all of us would b? Or maybe d containing of ds virus s left with fed govt to handle alone, will stil b able to come online? Ds fed guys r glutton, greedy and wicked. I know dt it’s bcos lagos state was successful in ds fight of live dts y dey diverted d fund, and ds wickedness. Wat about d promised #224m released for lagos state fo ebola? BRF said dey r yet to receive it. Kudos to lagos state ministry of health.

      • BlackieUmukoro

        You got it all wrong. Come with an open mind
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

        • PeterPaul1

          No, you got it wrong. The money has been diverted for “other” uses. It’s sad that people are going to enrich themselves out of this money. That N1.9b is gone!

          • BlackieUmukoro

            There is no evidence to even show that the money has been released Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • PeterPaul1

            Seriously?
            Please read:
            “On August 8, at the peak of the Ebola crisis, the president, in a press release signed by Reuban Abati, announced the release of N1.9 billion as a Special Intervention Fund for the management of Ebola.”
            If you’re going to be jumping to the defense of these thieves at least read the story.

          • BlackieUmukoro

            Forget Abati. Their release does not translate to immediate release of the fund. Govt procedure are so unweidy when it comes to fund release Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • PeterPaul1

            Forget the President’s statement? That’s hogwash, weezy!

            Look, quit rolling off point. Our President said the Special Intervention Fund is for the management of Ebola, but the Health Minister is diverting it for other uses. That’s the point. Soon you’re going to be telling us, “They’ve not started spending the money.”

          • BlackieUmukoro

            Mr Abati, clarify the true position please
            Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Come on, Blackie.

            I credit you with more than this tenuous position that you are defending.

            This is where I expect you to call on Jonathan to fire those who are planning to steal the money.

          • BlackieUmukoro

            My brother, no money has been released. If in doubt ask ngozi iweala Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Granted, Blackie.

            But the res of the matter here is what the dishonourable Minister of Health is suggesting the monies would be used for!

            And by the way, does this then mean you acknowledge that the fight against the Ebola VD was fought and won by the APC government of Guv. Fash in Lagos without FGN assistance?

            Just asking in light of your assertion. I was under the impression it was a joint effort led by the LASG.

          • BlackieUmukoro

            No, they gave Fashola N200 million to assist him
            Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

          • BlackieUmukoro

            GEJ is in love with committees. No committee has been set up yet to manage the ebola intervention fund. The minister of education also called on state govts to fund ebola prevention measures in their schools. If there was an intervention fund, it should have been funded from it. Just musing oo Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  • Sendband

    Stated in other words – The money is part of 2015 campaign funds! Lets hope the cars to be purchased are strictly “made in Nigeria”.

  • dele

    should we have expected anything less? idiots… They take donations of body scanning machines ffrom the US government which, if they cared, could have been purchased from the N1.9 billion. They leave their responsibilities, löoking on to the west to solve all their problems for them while stealing government funds…. wasters and parasites…. They go to the presidency to launch hand washing machines that are available in all public toilets all over Europe. Disgraceful leaders… what are those cars meant for? a time will come when the Nigerian youth will turn on all of you….

  • Gideon Orkar

    Nigerians and cars shaaa!

  • redeem

    The man is a thief period-see the trouble with Nigerians————————-anytime money from my oil revenue base is made available to them to care of the needs of the citizens the first thing that comes to their mind is how much will go into their leaking pocket–this very health minister is known to have been involved in series of fraudulent activities yet he was appointed as minister———————now the 1.9b–is gone into some fake projects-

    • concerned9ja

      Yes, that’s your Jona’s appointee. Can two walk together unless they agree? , so says the bible. That is why God should just see the clueless through this tenure and give us a saner choice next year otherwise…..
      The body language of this Jona speaks ultra corruption all the time, we must have a change.

  • Screw-em

    Coscharis Motors go de laugh like hell……another batch of “bulletproof “BMW’s for the dishonourable chukwu and his fifty thieves from Finance to Aviation from CBN to Zenith Bank. Fake drugs galore……..where we dey go as a people…una please tell me?

  • Anthony Igweze

    This is Nigeria wonder, the more you look the less you see, The more you hear the less you understand. So money meant to fight Ebola has now become money for vehicles. Nigerian government and their misplaced priorities. Very soon we will hear that the money developed wings overnight and flew away. Naija we hail thee.

  • Susan B

    Absolutely shocking! Have they ever heard of proactive actions?? Because we have just one case does not mean we shouldn’t prepare.
    Cars?????
    These people don’t fear God o.

    • Mike

      I was there, the Minister mentioned other items, such as isolation tents, diagnostic equipments, PPEs, body scanners, etc, least of them were cars. Premium Times are just being mischievous

  • Diggy

    Whatever the Minister and the Ministry needs to do should be done. It doesn’t concern us how they do it. So far, its being perceived by the Nigerian populace that the Ministry is doing its best to curb the situation. If more funds have being provided for the Ministry, it only goes to say the Ministry should beef up the efforts to render the health services required of that sector.

  • Uku Jonathan Ntekim

    I would have thought that the federal ministry of health would invest this fund in the building of state-of-the-art infectious disease containment centres in some major cities across the country – Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt, Kano and maybe Kaduna. As we speak, Nigeria does not have even ONE! And if you’re thinking of the IDH at Yaba, please think again: that does not qualify in the least…