COVID-19: Federal Government releases N10Billion for local production of vaccines

The Federal Government has released N10bn for local production of COVID-19 vaccines.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced this on Monday.

The Minister, who was represented at a meeting of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Health by the Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Ben Akabueze, lamented most Nigerians appear unwilling to take the vaccines.

Speaking on the extension of implementation of the capital component of the 2020 Appropriation Act, the Minister said the extension of the implementation of the 2020 capital budget to 31st March will not include any further releases of money by the Federal Government.

On the possibility of a supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccine procurement, the Minister said: “That is still a work in progress. We are discussing the modalities for that because there’s a lot that this entails.

“It’s one thing to procure vaccines, it’s another thing for people to be willing to take the vaccines and right now, I’m not sure that we are doing well in terms of the campaign and sensitisation for people.

“I don’t know what you hear. In my own neck-on-the-wood, most of the people we talked to, they don’t appear to be willing to take this vaccine. So it’s one of the issues we need to address as we make plans to procure the vaccine.”

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