SPEECH OF HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE COVID-19 VACCINATION CEREMONY HELD AT THE BANQUET HALL OF THE STATE HOUSE ON SATURDAY, 6TH MARCH, 2021
Since the beginning of the year 2020, humanity has remained under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, an unseen but very potent enemy around the world. Infection from the virus has resulted in over two million and five hundred thousand fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems.
2.The response in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region has been robust, collaborative, and united. It was driven by a collective knowledge of the fact that no country is safe until every country is safe’.
3.The speedy development of the COVID-19 vaccines is quite significant and underscores the collective resolve of humanity to overcome the pandemic. Similarly, the collaborative effort to ensure equal access has brought relief to poor and developing countries.
4.I have been assured by the Presidential Task Force that the AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has accessed, will arrive in batches beginning with the first batch of about four million doses already received. I am similarly aware of the rollout and administration plan to cater for over seventy percent of our population between years 2021 and 2022.
5.Yesterday, our frontline medical personnel, top on the priority list, were vaccinated. Today, as a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, I have received my first jab and I wish to commend it to all eligible Nigerians, to do the same so that we can be protected from the virus.
6.I urge all state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilization effort within their environment and spheres of influence. The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of Coronavirus.
7.I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorized designated centers ONLY.
8.I congratulate the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on the successful multi-sectoral approach to the management of this pandemic.
9.Finally, I wish to acknowledge and commend the support of Governments, our donors, development partners, the private sector, traditional and religious leaders as well as critical stakeholders who have supported Nigeria thus far. I assure you that the resources will be equitably administered.
10.I thank you all for your kind attention.
11.May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!