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NEC urges Nigerians to participate in COVID-19 vaccination

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Supports plan for national broadband penetration
The National Economic Council (NEC) rose from its monthly meeting yesterday, urging Nigerians to participate in the vaccination against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

This followed the delivery of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines to every state in the country, save Kogi.

NEC also welcomed the integration of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to support the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on vaccine accountability and transparency.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who chaired the meeting, commended the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for smooth coordination of the nationwide distribution of the vaccines.

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NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr. Fiasal Shuaib, said: “Kogi is yet to receive due to the non-repair of their Cold-Chain Store coupled with the state’s concerns around the contradictory information about the vaccines.

“The vaccination application has been launched in most States’ Treatment Centres, even against distractions and criticism of the Federal Government’s efforts to ensure availability of vaccines in the country. The roll-out of the vaccines across healthcare front-line workers and other health support staff was scheduled to commence by March 15, 2021, in some states, with the intention of wider coverage after the training of the states’ health workers across board.”

To ensure accountability in the distribution of the vaccines, Faisal informed NEC that ICPC had been co-opted to support the PTF on vaccine accountability to ensure the safekeeping of the vaccines.

He added: “There was a need for tight security around the vaccines in the states to avoid being vandalised by hoodlums. Meanwhile, there is a plan to commence weekly record of a dashboard showing level and efficacy of the inoculation by the end of Monday, March 15, 2021.”

On the implementation of broadband access in the country, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Pantami, sought the support of NEC in the formulation and implementation of policies that would ease broadband penetration in Nigeria.

He said: “All states should support us by adhering to the N145 Right Of Way (ROW) charge per linear metre. The long-term benefits are far more than the initial fees being collected.”

Before the NEC consensus to peg the ROW charge at N145, there were instances the fees varied between N5000 and N10,000.

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