Abuja – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is ready to intervene in Nigeria’s health sector following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said this at a consultative roundtable meeting organised by the bank in Abuja on Wednesday.
The roundtable has as its theme “Going for Growth 2.0’’.
Emefiele explained that the CBN had decided to support the government by helping to develop specialist hospitals across the country.
He said the bank’s intervention would be in the area of diagnosis and surgery, pointing out that this would reduce the foreign trips to overseas countries being embarked upon by Nigerians in search of medical attention.
“Giving the impact of coronavirus, I heard some countries are trying to ban export of some pharmaceutical products, we must look inward at this time.
“CBN is also working to support the pharmacy and pharmacology industry,’’ he said.
Responding to why Nigerians do not patronise made in Nigeria sanitisers, Emefiele urged Nigerians, owners of patent outlets and pharmacies to buy such products being produced in the country.
He said the apex bank would soon add sanitisers to the lists of products on foreign exchange restriction.
The CBN governor said the country must take advantage of this development in ensuring diversification of its economy.
According to him, the situation where the country’s 80 per cent Foreign Exchange earnings is from oil, as such products constitute 60 per cent of government’s revenue, it makes the country’s economy to feel the impact of the coronavirus.
He said relying on crude oil since the 1970s had become a problem for the country, hence something must be done to change the trend.
Emefiele disclosed that the findings that would be generated from the roundtable discussion would be immediately presented to the president at the end of the event.
He, however, commended president Muhammadu Buhari for his emphasis on diversification of the economy.
The event was attended by ministers, head of government agencies, captains of industries and entrepreneurs among others. (NAN)