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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

has dismissed claims that it is doing nothing to fund researches into COVID-19 health care solutions.

On Sunday, the CBN urged scientific bodies interested in accessing it’s research grant for COVID -19 solutions to formally apply for the grant.

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.

Spokesman for the CBN and Director Corporate Communications Isaac Okorafor while reacting to allegations from the Guild of Medical Directors, said: “grants are guided by procedures and not a free for all. They have to be applied for and processed.
The Guild of Medical Directors had accused the CBN Governor of sitting on the requests while putting together a so-called ‘framework’ for such funding.

Responding, Isaac Okorafor 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”.

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