President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja launched a sixty-two billion Naira (N62bn) trust fund to help Nigeria end AIDS as a public health threat and place more people living with HIV on treatment annually.
Speaking at the launch of the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria (HTFN), the President pledged that his administration would continue to prioritize health interventions to address killer diseases and public health emergencies.
“At the last United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, I made a call for a renewed global action to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.
“Ending AIDS as a public health threat in Nigeria will require increased domestic funding. We have continued to make good our commitment of placing more people living with HIV on treatment annually using national resources.
“However, strong domestic resource mobilization with an enduring partnership and shared responsibility is required to sustain the response to HIV and other emerging public health emergencies,” President Buhari said.
The President noted that Nigeria’s purposeful partnership with the private sector in the response to COVID 19 pandemic had provided a readily available financing solution to sustain the HIV response.
He commended the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS for their efforts in establishing the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria to secure a generation of babies free of HIV.
He also expressed delight with the attendance in person of notable global key players in HIV response and from the private sector at the event and the pledges made.
“Going forward, I hope the HIV Trust Fund of Nigeria will galvanize more of the private sector and other partners to surpass the target of sixty-two billion Naira in the next five years,” he added.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced that since 2005 about 6.2 billion dollars have been spent on HIV response in Nigeria.
“About 80 per cent of the funds were contributed by external donors, mainly the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Private Sector contributed 0.1 per cent to 2 per cent of total funds with the rest of funds provided by the Nigerian government.”