Senate tells Buhari govt to start process of purchasing COVID-19 vaccine

President Muhammadu Buhari administration has been asked by the Senate on Thursday to provide adequate funds for the purchase and administration of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

The Red Chamber directed the Committees on Health and Primary Health Care to invite the Ministry of Health and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

They are expected to present the plan for approval, protocol, funding, procurement, administration and monitoring of the vaccine.

Senate resolutions followed a Point of Order raised by the Chairman, Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, NAN reports.

The motion is tagged “Urgent need for Nigeria to obtain and administer COVID-19 vaccine to its citizens to be able to prevent the pandemic”.

Citing Orders 42 and 52 of the Standing Rules, Oloriegbe recalled that Nigeria recorded its first index of the pandemic in February.

The lawmaker expressed concern about the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria and citizens.

“The Senate is worried that the level of compliance to the measures has been diminishing. It is also worried that the level of testing, detection and isolation of confirmed cases have also been reducing in the country.”

Oloriegbe noted that some countries had approved vaccines for COVID-19 and were administering to their people.

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He warned that failure to administer vaccines to Nigerians may cause increase in infections and a possible ban on traveling ban by countries.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said the required fund for the procurement of the vaccine should be made available.

“If we are not able to do that in the 2021 appropriation, then we have to prepare for a supplementary appropriation because this is a matter of life and death”, Lawan noted.

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