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FG Distributes Blame As States Fail To Acquire COVID-19 Vaccine

 State governments, except Lagos and Oyo, are not making independent plans to procure COVID-19 vaccine,  officials told The PUNCH on Sunday.

Officials of states including Plateau, Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Cross River and Bauchi,  in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said they had not made any plan to buy the vaccine,  rather they would depend on allocations from the Federal Government.

But Lagos and Oyo states had two weeks ago,  told our correspondents that they were making independent plans to buy doses of COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the allocations expected from the Federal Government.

As most states failed to make their own plans for the vaccine, the Federal Government on Sunday blamed politics and logistics due to no fault of Nigeria for the delay in the arrival of the vaccine in country.

Recall that the Federal Government had on January 5 said it was expecting 100,000 doses of free Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this, said the country would later in the year receive 42 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had earlier on December 22, 2020, told the Senate that the Federal Government would need about N40bn to vaccinate 70 per cent of Nigerians.

Sunday PUNCH  had reported that the Federal Government had yet to submit a budget proposal for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine to the National Assembly.

Besides the delay at the federal level, there were indications on Sunday that state governments would solely depend on the central government as they were not making their  own plans to procure the vaccine.

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