…Takes vaccination for measles in S’East, S’South March 2018
…Sultan of Sokoto briefs NEC on polio eradication
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE National Economic Council, NEC, yesterday announced that the sum of N3.5 billion has been released for vaccination programme against communicable diseases, while the nation’s Excess Crude Account stood at $2.3 billion as at October 16.
Government also said that vaccination campaign for measles in the 17 states in the Southern part of the country has been fixed to start from 8th March 2018.
Briefing State House correspondents after the monthly NEC, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said government released N3.5 billion for vaccination programme of the diseases.
He also said that as at 16th October, the Excess Crude Account was $2.3 billion, Stabilisation Fund stood at N58.5 billion in the same date, while Natural Resources Development Account was N93.1 billion.
Also briefing journalists, the Governor of Abia, State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said that the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa,ad Abubakar, who he said holds the position of face of eradication of polio in Nigeria briefed NEC on efforts in the eradication of polio in the country.
He said that the presence of the Sultan was to underscore the support of the traditional institution and other critical stakeholders in their efforts to eradicate polio, measles and yellow fever.
He said, “We were also glad to have the presence of other critical stakeholders and supporters of that programme which included Dangote Foundation and Bill Gate Foundation.”
Governor Ikpeazu said Council applauded the support the stakeholders and encouraged state government to go to their states and encourage the immunization programme by paying counterpart funding and taking ownerships of the programme in their respective states as a way to stamp out all the diseases that could be reduced or removed completely from the country by vaccination.
Also briefing, Governor Godwin Obaseke said that “Council received an update of polio eradication initiatives of government and partners and also ways and plans that government has for strengthening routine immunization.
“The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency briefed Council on plans for measles vaccination ahead of the 2017/2018 dry season and the period is normally associated with the spread of measles.
The Director briefed Council on the preparations for measles vaccination and informed Council that the campaign will be conducted in the 19 northern states including the FCT as follows.
“From the 26 to 31st of October through 27th of November, vaccination to occur in the north western part of the country.
“The north eastern states vaccinations will occur from the 30th of November through to the 7th of December, while the north central and FCT, vaccinations will occur from the 1st of February through to the 13th of February 2018.
“The phase two of the exercise will take place in the 17 Southern states from the 8th of March through the 20th of March next year.”
He further said, “The executive director also informed council that about 12 states have already paid their counterpart funds for the exercise. These states include Bayelsa, Borno, Edo, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Osun, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
“24 states are yet to meet their obligations for the vaccination in this campaign. We therefore requested Council to appeal to states who are yet to meet their obligations to act urgently to enable campaign take off on schedule in all states of the federation.
“Furthermore, he appealed to Council to support the quarterly release of fund for routine immunization activities and that states should set up emergency routine immunization coordination centres so as as to serve as a platform to coordinate routine immunization activities.
“Finally, they appealed to Council to directly support and commit to the implementation of the 2017 and 2018 measles vaccination campaign.”
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state disclosed that Council received a presentation on the flood outlook in the country by the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency who he said went on to inform Council about the damage that was witnessed in the 2012 flooding season and the experience gained therein.
He said the Federal Government has released N1.6 billion for Flood Relief this year and that more for other states was being expected.
The states that have benefited from the fund are Benue, Kebbi, Ekiti, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Sokoto, Niger and Enugu.
Bagudu said that the NEMA DG appealed to state government and local government to set up and strengthen local council emergency management committees and indeed the state emergency management committees and also liaise with NEMA so that an early warning systems can be established.”
On her part, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar while briefing said, “We got approval in principle on harmonized multiple tax. The governors to look into it and see how best they can leverage on that. Also to do with the right of way for the broad band.
“I think this is something that we look forward to and continue to work to anticipate the fast industrialization process which we begun and indicated in the economic recovery and growth plan.”