By G9ija

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, said on Tuesday the Federal Government would vaccinate 103 million Nigerians or 50 percent of the country’s total population for the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated this during the breakdown of the 2021 budget in Abuja.

The National Assembly had reviewed upward the 2021 budget by N500 billion to accommodate the purchase and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria.

Akabueze said the government would pay for the vaccination of about 50 percent of the population in order to achieve herd immunity.

He said: “There is a global alliance to support economically weak nations with vaccines. Our understanding of the current plan is that we will be getting vaccines donations to cover up to 20 percent of our population.

“But the global standards say that to achieve herd immunity you have to vaccine at least 70 percent of the population and so there is a 50 percent of the population that we may be required to pay for their own vaccination.”

The director, however, assured Nigerians that the government would do whatever it takes to protect the health of citizens and the economy.

“Already, there is an inter-ministerial committee looking at this matters and the assurance is that government will do whatever is needful to keep the citizens and economy safe even if it means coming back with a supplementary budget,” he added