President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide in a bid to enhance the treatment of COVID-19 patients who need oxygen.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, broke the news at a national executive council meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
She said the president approved the release of the funds for the production of oxygen, necessitated by the increased number of patients who need oxygen due to the surge in COVID infections in the country.
The development comes two days after Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, announced that the demand for oxygen at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba area of the state has risen from 70 to 350 cylinders per day.
The governor had said the upsurge of COVID-19 cases necessitated an increase in the amount of oxygen for moderate to severe cases of admission in all the isolation centres in Lagos.
He said to address the high demand for oxygen in Lagos, which is the epicenter of COVID in Nigeria, the government decentralised the availability of oxygen across the state through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks.
“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy,” he had said.
Nigeria is currently experiencing the second wave of the pandemic.
Nigeria has a total of 114,691 COVID-19 infections out of which 92,336 have recovered and 1,478 have died.