Nigeria is spending $35 per capita to combat COVID-19, Aig-Imoukhuede says
… 98% less than global average of $2000 … encourages private sector to increase contribution
Sub-Saharan Africa Governments do not have the firepower required to throw a blanket over the virus and as such need assistance in combating the deadly coronavirus, according to Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede a Nigerian banker, investor and philanthropist.
The former Group MD of Access Bank believes Africa was able to buy itself some time by fast-tracking emergency responses to the medical challenges but he is worried the time will be wasted if it doesn’t roll out sustainable measures to fill the financing gap and our long-term needs.
“The world is spending over $2,000 per capita to combat COVID, whilst Nigeria, for instance, is spending $35 per capita (as at July 2020),” Aig-Imoukhuede said. going by BusinessDay estimates, that is 98.25 percent less than the global average.
Aig-Imoukhuede made this known at a high-level meeting that was put tougher by the IMF and the World Bank which is geared towards addressing the continued economic challenges posed by COVID-
During Aig-Imoukhuede’s three minutes intervention at the roundtable discussion, he explained that “private sector accounts for 5 percent of the total funding mobilized in Africa versus less than 1 percent in other areas of the world, so our private sector is not doing badly but we need to do more.”
Meanwhile, the event which held virtually on October 9, 2020, brought together African policy makers, international institutions, bilateral development partners, and representatives from the private sector to: provide a platform for African policymakers to highlight the acute challenges faced in their fight against the pandemic and efforts to mount a crisis response and promote a strong and sustainable recovery; take stock of promising country experiences and support provided by the international community in Africa’s fight against the pandemic; and agree on additional concrete measures from both public and private sectors to fill the large medium-term investment and financing needs that countries are facing.
Explaining that the medical, economic and social challenges that are described in the background note to the event are not new to Africa, as they existed pre-COVID-19, the Co-founder of Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, an all-digital crowdsourcing philanthropic platform said Africa needs more funding from the international financial institutions starting with debt relief.
“We also need the international private sector and Africans in the diaspora to come to the table. We need Innovative financial platforms such as the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund which is established for Nigeria by Nigerians in partnership with the Global Citizen organisation.”
Aig-Imoukhuede concluded by adding that the world rolled out responses like digital reskilling programs to combat the challenges of Covid-19 and so he pleaded that “we should not inadvertently create a global underclass of extremely poor, underprivileged, disadvantaged citizens mainly in Africa who cannot access these mainstream solutions.”