The European Union (EU) has donated the sum of N21 billion to support Nigeria’s efforts at controlling the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
This was announced when President Muhammadu Buhari received an EU delegation, led by Ketil Karlsen, at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
The donation is the largest support that the EU is providing anywhere outside Europe, according to Karlsen. It is also the largest single contribution to the coronavirus response in Nigeria.
According to a statement by the presidency, Karlsen also disclosed that the EU was mobilising other sources of funding and goods purchased through that funding are expected in the country soon.
Buhari lauded the contribution, noting that it would go a long way in supporting Nigeria’s efforts at controlling and containing the virus that has infected nearly 2 million people around the world.
Karlsen also praised Buhari’s “powerful” national address to Nigerians on Monday, April 13. The president extended an initial lockdown in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, by an additional 14 days.
In his remarks, Ambassador Karlsen described the donation, channelled through the UN COVID-19 basket fund as, so far, the largest single contribution to the response in Nigeria and the largest support that EU is providing anywhere outside Europe.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) April 14, 2020
During the address, Buhari expressed concerns that despite the nation’s best efforts, coronavirus cases have doubled since the lockdown was initiated especially in both Lagos and the FCT; extending the lockdown till April 27.
As of April 13, Nigeria has recorded 343 coronavirus cases in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
91 people have recovered from the virus and been discharged, but 11 people have died.