The United States (U.S.) yesterday disclosed that it has spent over $32.8m in Nigeria in its response to COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual press briefing, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, said America had spent over $237m in its interventions on the African continent, while its global interventions had reached $32.4b.
Responding to questions from journalists after her introductory remarks, the US diplomat in first encounter with newsmen after her deployment to Nigeria said she was delighted to deployed to Nigeria as an ambassador.
She disclosed that the U.S. had spent $8b in Nigeria support in the last 20 years, $5.2b of which was invested in the health sector.
“A lot of assistance have been provided in the structures, systems and habits which turns out to be very directly transferable, relatable, usable during the COVID epidemic,” she said.
Admitting the enormity of the COVID-19 challenge within the U.S. borders, she said the support for COVID-19 was “also about dealing with economic impact and other things.”
On president Donald Trump’s promise of more assistance to Nigeria in fighting the pandemic, Leonard said the latest conversation was a renewal of both leaders’ contract when President Muhammadu Buhari became the first African leader to meet Trump as U.S. president at the White House some years back.
“I’m sure they renewed their contract in that conversation and as I said, we already have a robust U.S. Government’s financial and technical response to COVID-19.
“Both presidents talked, in particular, about what equipment they needed. They spoke about ventilators and other matters. “We have a robust NCDC and USAID present in Nigeria.
“We have no fewer than 55 persons from the agencies and they are more or less containing COVID presently. Many of the workers are American and Nigerian employees in NCDC and USAID,”