Zainab Ahmed
Zainab Ahmed

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

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

The Minister said, the Federal Government 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 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.

On the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price crash on the Nigerian economy, Ahmed noted that prior to the pandemic, implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-20, prudent resource management and fiscal policy implementation had resulted in 11 consecutive quarters of GDP growth, with GDP growth rising from 1.91 percent in 2018 to 2.27 percent in 2019.

Ahmed said the government had begun the process of moving our economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and were making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges.