Saturday, 08 May 2021 04:20

COVID-19: FG releases N29.1bn for vaccine deployment

The Federal Government says it has released N29.1 billion to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, made this disclosure at the ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar on Friday.

According to Zainab Ahmed, “already, the sum of N29.1billion has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1billion represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22”.

Mrs. Ahmed stated at the 18th General Assembly of CABRI that the World Bank has indicated willingness to provide needed facilities in support of our COVID-19 vaccination plan.

The federal government, the minister said, will procure 29.588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the AVAT initiative, coordinated by AFREXIMBank.

Considering key elements of Nigeria’s vaccine financing strategy, Ahmed said that the government is working on a supplementary budget to provide for the cost of vaccine procurement and delivery.

“The supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country”.

“The Federal Ministry of Health plans to vaccinate 70 percent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years” she said.

She noted that the nation has received commitments from COVAX for COVID-19 vaccines that could cover 43.1 million of the eligible population, as donations from some development partners.

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