The Federal Government has sought for cooperation with the United States of America on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine with the aim of vaccinating 70 percent of its population in attaining the herd immunity.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the disclosure when the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard and her team paid him a courtesy visit in his Office.
The SGF said that Nigeria is presently experiencing shortage of Covid-19 vaccine owing to the disruption of vaccine production in India. This according to him, necessitated the need for the assistance in order to meet up its target. In his words;
“And for us to get to herd immunity, we need to vaccinate 70 Percent of our population, and that’s the major area of concern. This is where we believe the United States government would be of tremendous assistance to areas of support we are looking for in our engagement and our relationship with friendly nations like US in particular with regards to vaccine. We are looking for a prospect of a direct assistance from the US to support Nigeria to purchase vaccine directly from companies. So far, we have only been able to access vaccine from Covax facilities and donations from different offers. But so far, we have received 100,000 doses from the Indian company, in addition to the 3,924 million we received from the Covax facilities”.
He appealed to the United States to consider siting a Vaccine production plant in Nigeria owing to its huge population compared to other African countries. This he assured, will go a long way to safeguard the world considering its presence across the globe and mobility.
Mustapha conveyed the deep gratitude of the Federal Government to the US for the financial and technical support the it has been enjoying in the area of immunization against polio, fight against Covid-19, fight against HIV/ AIDs among others. He said;
“To thank you for your visit and the important work you are doing in our country. Your engagement in our country in the area of health is not only restricted to Covid-19 pandemic. I remember vividly through the PEPFA program, the US government supported Nigeria with technical and financial support to provide HIV/ AIDS services directly through the government as well as through different NGOs and civil societies to provide for the prevention, treatment, care and support to million of Nigerians and we remain eternally grateful for that. There are other different areas you have supported our work here in the country, humanitarian support basis in risk communication, water and sanitation activities”
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olurunnimbe Mamora appreciated the strategic partnership between Nigeria and the US which has yielded great results, among with was the mobile field hospital donated by the United States Government to help Nigeria’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. He appealed to the United States to further assist Nigeria in procuring more Covid-19 vaccine as the nation is having shortage of supply.
The United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard has assured the Federal Government of the commitment of President Joe Biden toward the fight against Covid-19 pandemic through its multilateral efforts. She added that the US has so far contributed 2 billion vaccine to the Covax facilities and another tranche of 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine were underway.
Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation