Nigeria is not in the driving seat to demand the required number of vaccines the country needs because the country remains in the category of poor countries, a former Lagos state governorship candidate Jimi Agbaje has said.
The West African country has continued to take measures to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus including securing vaccines, but Agbaje believes that the placement of Nigeria in the category of poor countries ensures that the country is reliant on other countries to negotiate on its behalf.
Mr Agbaje who was a guest on ARISE News told the station that the majority of the citizens do not believe in the coronavirus disease, and called on the government to embark on carrying out massive advocacy.
“Nigerians do not believe in the coronavirus disease, just like you have abroad in western countries, so we have here. So the first problem for the government is advocacy, is to make people realise the seriousness of COVID-19, I think that’s the first challenge.
“In terms of how they have managed it, they have managed it as best as they can because like I said it’s more about advocacy, its more about the non-pharmaceutical interventions that will help us, especially with our weak health systems.
“With regards to vaccines, unfortunately, I can’t say that we are in charge or that we are in the driving seat in the sense that we belong in the category of poor countries where some people are taking care of us, where people are negotiating on our behalf as to how much we can get free and how much we can pay at reduced prices, that’s the category we are.
“Unfortunately, there is also a reality and that reality is that even with that arrangement it’s estimated that just about 20% of our population will have the vaccination in the year 2021. So if we take that average you are looking at a situation where if we have 200 million we are not going to get more than about 30 to 40 million people that will be vaccinated in the year 2021 and that means we have to go back to the non-pharmaceutical interventions, the social distancing and all, and that’s going to be our strength and that’s the reality we are in at the moment.”
By Abel Ejikeme