Despite COVID-19 Emergency: FG Budgets N5.8bn For Vaccine Institutes

The Federal Government has allocated N5.84 billion in the 2021 budget to key agencies saddled with pharmaceutical research and vaccine development, in spite of the global rush for home-grown vaccines, Daily Trust findings show.

The agencies are the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID), and the National Arbovirus and Vectors Research Centre (NAVRC), Enugu.

NIMR Yaba is the highest of the three with N4.23 billion budgeted for the year.

NIPRID’s allocation for the year stands at N1.28 billion.

NAVRC has the lowest provision of N329.48 million.

This comes at a time of increasing pressure on the Federal Government to fast track the production of COVID-19 vaccines at home, to stem the ravaging spread of the virus.

The government last month said it would need N400 billion to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigerians between now and 2022.

Other countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Mauritius, and Botswana have joined the rest of the world in developing their own vaccines.

Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, on Monday announced that the government would provide free vaccines to 103 million Nigerians as provided for in the 2021 budget.

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