The Federal Government has debunked a report that it budgeted N10.6 billion for the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine across the country.
Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), issued the rebuttal after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had received doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Saturday.
A national newspaper had on Saturday reported that the Federal Government will spend the said sum to transport the COVID-19 vaccine to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
But Shuaib countered the report, saying the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), the private sector-led initiative, has already undertaken to distribute the vaccines to states.
He explained that the Federal Government will not incur any cost, noting that a cargo plane provided by CACOVID will be used to deliver the vaccines to states with functional airports, while a delivery van will be used for states without functional airports.
He said: “I mean, I’m hearing this from you for the first time. It doesn’t make any sense that on the one hand, we’ve communicated very clearly to Nigerians that the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), a private sector initiative, has provided a cargo plane that will help deliver the vaccines from Abuja to all states that have functional airports.
“For those that do not have functional airports, there is a delivery van that will convey the vaccines from those airports to the states without functionality.
” So it is not correct to say that the federal government is going to be expending N10.6 billion to transport vaccines to the state. That is incredulous,” he said.