From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi has disclosed that 80 million doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40 percent of the country’s population and another 60 million in 2022.
He made the disclosure at Chatham House Event, London, United Kingdom, tagged “The role of Nigeria’s state governments In recovery; responses to COVID-19 linked challenges.”
He explained that governors of the various states will utilize public – private partnerships to procure the vaccines.
Fayemi, who also reeled out statistics on how the government is fighting the pandemic, said “we expect about 80 million doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40% of the population, while another 60 million doses is being planned for 2022.
“Beyond government’s procurement of vaccines, we at the NGF are also strong proponents of the utilisation of public-private partnerships in vaccines procurement as a means of closing the gap between what is available and what is necessary to achieve herd immunity.
“As we already know, vaccines themselves are not cost effective, but rather immunisation is. To ensure people are immunized, State Governments have a role to play in supporting the logistics and ensuring people get the vaccines.
“Using the Vaccines Readiness Assessment Tool (ViRAT), I have encouraged my colleagues to revisit and strengthen their vaccines cold chain and logistics, step up demand creation and communication and map out priority persons to receive vaccines amongst other things.
Fayemi further said comprehensive plans must be done to address other areas that could create a logistical nightmare such as storing vaccines, reaching out and ensuring people come back to receive their second doses.
The Ekiti governor added that the governors have considerable experience on this, having handled polio vaccination which actually led to the eradication wild polio virus in Nigeria.
On the economic front, he said the governors major priority is to secure livelihoods.
“National monetary and fiscal policy reforms must align to support improvements in household income. Working with the Federal Government, a number of employment creation programs have been created and currently being implemented.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has played an important role here and we must commend them.
“Intervention funds have been made available with interest rates below inflation, in the hope that we can stimulate growthp9o9o