The Federal Ministry of Health has proposed the sum of N296 billion for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines to cover 2021 and 2022.
This is expected to be part of the supplementary budget that will soon be sent to the National Assembly for its consideration and approval.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House Correspondents, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which was held earlier in the week.
Ahmed said that the President earlier in the year, gave approval in principle for the Federal Ministry of Health to work with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, to submit to the National Assembly, a supplementary budget of N399 billion for Covid-19 vaccination and building of primary healthcare centres across the country.
However, she said that they have decided to step down the N103 billion for the primary healthcare centres for now and go ahead with the N296 billion for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Ahmed in her statement said, “Sometime in January, the President based on the request by the Ministry of Health gave an in-principle approval for the Ministry of Health to work with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prepare and take to the National Assembly, a supplementary budget for Covid-19 vaccination.
The submission that was made to the President at that time was in the sum of N399 billion, included in this N399 billion was the N103 billion for the building of primary healthcare centres. So we have worked with and met several times with the Ministry. We agreed that we will back out of this building of primary healthcare centres, that can wait till later.’’
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It can be recalled that Nigeria on March 5, 2021, commenced the vaccination of its citizens against the Covid-19 disease beginning with health workers and some top government functionaries.
This follows the arrival of the first batch of 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine from the WHO-backed COVAX initiative.
The Federal Ministry of Health has proposed the sum of 296 billion Naira for the purchase of Vaccines to cover 2021 and 2022. A supplementary budget will be sent to the National Assembly in due course.#FECBriefing pic.twitter.com/8GvWv47JNG
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) April 1, 2021