Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that the country will commit its Trust Fund with African Development Bank (AfDB) to support efforts to end Ebola in West Africa.
Speaking at the on-going Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, Okonjo-Iweala stood ready to do more to help the countries worse-hit by the Ebola epidemic. Nigeria had earlier in the year donated 3.5 million dollars through the ECOWAS to support Ebola-hit countries in the sub-region, and Okonjo Iweala added that Africa’s largest economy was ready to pool more resources for them.
“I have talked to Donald Kaberuka about using the Nigerian Trust Fund at the ADB to try and move quickly and my final point is short and medium term,” she said. She also stated that winning the war against the disease will require stronger private sector support and strengthening of the health systems on a global scale.
The finance minister also pointed to the private sector as a crucial partner in combating the crises as she commended Nigeria’s private sector for its support which she said enabled the Federal Government to contain the scourge.
Okonjo Iweala said that engaging the private sector would help in quick mobilization of needed resources, including funds and logistics. She explained that this would enable various initiatives of governments still battling with the Ebola crisis to achieve the desired results in a timely manner.
She also called on the global community to help West Africa, particularly the affected countries, avert a potential crisis that could roll back the economic development and achievements of the sub-regional economies.