By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria remains committed and focused on finding sustainable ways of financing her immunization and vaccination obligations.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President gave the assurance yesterday while receiving in audience members of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), led by Dr Seth Berkley.
He thanked GAVI for its over one billion dollars support to Nigeria since 2001, especially through the provision of vaccines to millions of people across the country, noting that “we have experienced various fiscal and security challenges that have hindered our ability to fully finance the vaccines by 2021 as originally planned.”
“I am, therefore, pleased that GAVI has extended its co-financing support period from 2021 to 2028, and has also committed over three billion dollars in new funding for vaccines, cold chain infrastructure and health system strengthening across the country,” Buhari added.
He pledged that the Federal Government would continue to provide counterpart funds, as well as strategies to gradually improve fiscal sustainability by 2028.
Berkley commended what he called “increase in national immunization coverage between 2016 and now”, saying there was excellent inter-ministerial collaboration to achieve the milestone.
He urged state governments to invest in vaccination and immunization, adding that poverty reduction must equally be a goal in the country.