The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, on Thursday told members of the National Economic Council that the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine has been delivered to 35 out of the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
He identified Kogi as the only state left out in the arrangement so far.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement said the NPHCDA gave the update while briefing a virtual meeting of NEC presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Akande, in a statement quoted Shuaib as saying “Kogi State is yet to receive due to the non-repair of its Cold-Chain Store coupled with the state’s concerns around the contradictory information about the vaccines.
“The vaccination application has been launched in most states’ Treatment Centres even against distractions and criticism of the FG’s efforts to ensure availability of vaccines in the nation.
“The roll-out of the vaccines across healthcare front-line workers and other health support staff was scheduled to commence by March 15, 2021, in some states, with the intention of wider coverage after the training of the states’ health workers across board.”
To ensure accountability in the distribution of the vaccine, Shuaib was also quoted as informing the council that “the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission had been co-opted to support the PTF on vaccine accountability to ensure the safekeeping of the vaccine
“There was a need for tight security around the vaccine in the states to avoid being vandalised by hoodlums.
“Meanwhile, there was a plan to commence weekly record of a dashboard showing level and efficacy of the inoculation by the end of Monday, March 15, 2021.”
Shuaib also assured the council members that the second tranche of the vaccine would be received in the country before the second dose of the vaccine intake is concluded.
Akande added that the council also received an update from the ad hoc committee interfacing with the PTF to ease the lockdown of the economy by the Chairman of the Committee, Ifeanyi Okowa; and the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu.
On the implementation of broadband access in the country, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was said to have sought the support of NEC in the formulation and implementation of policies that will ease broadband penetration in Nigeria.
“All states should support us by adhering to the N145 Right Of Way charge per linear metre. The long-term benefits are far more than the initial fees being collected,” the minister said.
Before the NEC consensus to peg the ROW charge at N145, there were instances the fees varied between N5000 – N10,000.
“We need a Point of Contact in each state as the interface on broadband and digital economy issues, and each state is also encouraged to have an institution or department to handle requests regarding broadband and the digital economy,” he added.
Highlighting some of the benefits derivable in increasing broadband access in the country, the minister noted that “the World Economic Forum predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitised by 2022 and that within the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70% of new value.”
Pantami added that “the Information and Communications Technology sector recorded the highest growth rate of all the sectors of the Nigerian economy in both the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020) and the entire year 2020. This was based on the Q4 2020 Report on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product released by the National Bureau of Statistics released.”
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zaynab Ahmed, reported to the council balances in accounts as of March 16 as -Excess Crude Account -$72,412,384.88; Stabilisation Account -N24, 994, 821,242.14; and Natural Resources Development Fund Account – N90, 744,488,087.88.