Supplementary budget likely for health emergencies
BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – Amid global campaign to calm nerves and address disturbing public perception about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze says about 103 million Nigerians will enjoy free vaccination against the virus this year.
He said provision has been made in the 2021 budget to cover COVID-19 vaccination for these huge numbers which represents over 50 per cent of the nation’s population.
Disclosing the cheering news in his intervention at the public presentation and breakdown of the 2021 budget in Abuja on Tuesday, Akabueze said; “There is a global alliance to support economically weak nations with vaccines. Our understanding of the current plan is that we will be getting vaccines donations to cover up to 20 per cent of our population.
“But the global standards says that to achieve herd immunity, you have to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the population and so there is a 50 per cent of the population that we may be required to pay for their vaccination.”
The Director General however hinted on the likelihood of a supplementary budget later this year to cater for emerging challenges and emergencies from the global health pandemic.
According to him, an inter-ministerial committee is already handling the COVID-19 vaccination project with top notch assurances from government to keep Nigerians and economy safe and healthy.