The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has approved N396 billion for the acquisition of more doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at the end of a Federal Executive Council meeting.
She stated, “Sometime in January, the president had based on the request by the Ministry of Health given, 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.”
Ahmed said the money was reduced to N396 billion from N399 billion initially proposed by the ministry of health.
She added, “The submission that was made to President Buhari at that time was in the sum of N399 billion, but included in this N399 billion was a N103 billion for the building of primary healthcare centres.
“So we have worked with that and met several times with the ministry, we have agreed to back out from this building of primary health care centres, that can wait till later, so there is still a provision of 396 billion for COVID-19 vaccinations for 2021 and 2022.”
The approval came as Nigeria continues to administer jabs from the 3.92 million vaccine doses it earlier received.
In February, the country received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines and another 300,000 doses from telecom giant MTN as part of corporate contribution to Africa.
“There have been some delays because we expected the ministry to confirm the vaccine donation that Nigeria is expecting. We are expecting a total of not less than 43 million doses of vaccines,” said the minister.