More than three million eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the country’s primary healthcare agency said.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said this at the bi-weekly briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Monday in Abuja.
The inoculated Nigerians were vaccinated eight months after the country started the vaccination of its citizens against coronavirus.
Mr Shuaib said 5,891,305 eligible Nigerians had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which represented 5.3 per cent of the eligible population.
He added that 3,252,067 Nigerians had received their second dose and were fully vaccinated, representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons.
He explained that the overall population of eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination to enable the country reach herd immunity against the virus was 111,776,503.
The NPHCDA boss said the federal government had adequate doses of vaccines in store to cover a large percentage of the population.
He added that the country had received 3,924,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) in batches between October 22 – 25 from the COVAX facility.
He noted that the country also received a combination of 1,022,400 doses of AZ as donations from the governments of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy from COVAX last week.
Mr Shuaib said the federal government had received commitments of over 11.99 million and 12.2 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines respectively.
“We also have received a commitment of 4,953,600 doses of Moderna as donation from the U.S. Government through COVAX. These are a few of the doses coming in batches in December and January 2022.
“We would also like to remind us that the federal government procured 39,800,000 doses of J&J COVID-19 vaccine through the AVATT and these have been coming in batches,” he said.
He appealed to persons 18 years and above and unvaccinated to simply walk into the nearest vaccination site to take their COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is free, safe, effective and protects you, your family and your community. And if you have taken your first dose, check your vaccination card for your due date and ensure you take the second dose for full protection,” he said.
He stated that the agency would initiate the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign to reach more Nigerians.
He said the idea of mass vaccination campaign was to quickly increase the number of fully vaccinated eligible population.
This, he hinted, would move the country towards achieving herd immunity and creating an enabling environment for economic recovery and a return to social normalcy in the country.
“The mass vaccination campaigns will require mass mobilisation of Nigerians for increased vaccine uptake.
“This cannot be done successfully without the support of all critical stakeholders including governors, commissioners, the LGA Chairmen, Traditional and Religious Leaders, the Civil Society Organisations, the State Ministries of Health, the State Primary Healthcare Boards, all health professionals and our professional media community,” he said.
Mr Shuaib said efforts were ongoing to engage with stakeholders to promote awareness and vaccine confidence.
He said the government aimed to vaccinate at least 50 per cent of the population by the end of January 2022.
“We will be conducting the national flag off of this mass vaccination campaign this Friday Nov. 19 by 10 a.m.,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss said any Nigerian found obtaining the COVID-19 vaccination card illegally (buying or selling) would be made to face the law.
He said the Joint Task Force on COVID-19, which included security agents from the ICPC, DSS and other relevant security agencies remained on alert at every corner of the country and were regularly making impromptu checks.
He noted that it would also be extremely difficult to use fraudulently obtained cards outside the country.
“There is a case of one Mr Amako who attempted to travel outside the country with a vaccination card that could not be validated.
“Upon investigation, the reason for the non-validation was that the expiry date of the 1st and 2nd dose was altered, there were inconsistencies with the vaccine expiration dates and batch number and the QR code scanned belonged to another person.
“This clearly showed that Mr Amako illegally obtained the vaccination card without getting vaccinated. He was denied travel and his case is currently with the law enforcement authorities,” he disclosed.
I can’t handle evil confronting Nigeria alone: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says the quantum of adversity his regime is confronting can only be surmounted with the assistance of all Nigerians.
Mr Buhari made this assertion while reacting to the gruesome attacks on innocent travellers in Sokoto State.
No fewer than 30 travellers were burnt inside a bus travelling through Sokoto by bandits after they were ambushed Tuesday night.
“I am very distressed at the manner of death visited on these hapless citizens who were undertaking a legitimate journey to another part of the country.
“It shows that the evil this administration is confronting is one that requires the support and involvement of all Nigerians,” Mr Buhari was quoted to have said by his media aide, Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The president extended deep condolences to the families of the victims, assuring that security agencies would continue to give their all to bring to an end the operations of the despicable people.
Price rally spurs growth at stock market
Sentiments remained positive in the domestic stock market on Wednesday with a growth of N217 billion arising from price rally recorded by MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN) and 19 other stocks.
Specifically, the market capitalisation inched higher by N217 billion or 0.99 per cent to close at N22.142 trillion from N21.925 trillion on Tuesday.
The All-Share Index rose by 417.14 points or 0.99 per cent to close at 42,435.16 against 42,018.02 recorded on Tuesday.
Consequently, the month-to-date loss moderated to 1.9 per cent, while the year-to-date gain increased by 5.4 per cent.
The market gain was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are: Seplat Energy, MTN (Nigeria), Dangote Sugar Refinery, Lafarge Africa and United Bank for Africa (UBA).
Market breadth was positive with 20 stocks against 11 losers.
LivingTrust Mortgage Bank topped the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.09 per cent to close at 96k per share.
Meyer followed with 7.69 per cent to close at 28k, while AXA Mansard Insurance went up by 7.25 per cent to close at N2.22 per share.
Dangote Sugar Refinery rose by 6.67 per cent to close at N16, while Honeywell Flour Mills appreciated by 6.51 per cent to close at N3.60 per share.
Conversely, Cutix led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.69 per cent to close at N2.61 per share.
Royal Exchange followed with 8.06 per cent loss to close at 57k, while Mutual Benefits Assurance declined by 7.69 per cent to close at 24k per share.
Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23k, while Nigerian Aviation Handling Company depreciated by 2.51 per cent to close at N3.50 per share.
Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings (FBNH) topped the activity chart with 441.93 million shares valued at N5.04 billion.
Sterling Bank followed with 64.43 million shares worth N95.94 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) traded 20.67 million shares valued at N501.36 million.
UBA sold 14.73 million shares valued at N115.95 million, while Access Bank transacted 12.30 million shares worth N110.59 million.
In all, the total volume of trades increased by 1.6 per cent to 649.77 million units valued at N7.20 billion exchanged in 3,757 deals.
This is against a turnover of 639.44 million shares worth N6.63 billion transacted in 4,564 deals on Tuesday.
FCT-IRS rakes in N118 billion, targets more in 2022: Official
The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) said it remitted N118 billion into the federal government coffers as of November with a projection of N202 billion in 2022.
Acting Executive Chairman of the service, Haruna Abdullahi, told newsmen on Wednesday that the figure meant the organisation surpassed its target by 108 per cent.
“In spite of the challenges faced by the Service and FCT due to the impact of Covid-19, we were able to achieve and surpass our revenue target of N109 billion by 108 per cent as at the end of November 2021.
“With this, the Service has so far collected and remitted the sum of N118 billion,” Mr Abdullahi stated.
He also said that within the year under review, the Service engaged some consultants to conduct a six-year back duty tax audit of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), enterprises and corporate organisations in the FCT.
Mr Abdullahi said the engagement had started yielding fruits because liabilities have been established and demand notices have been issued in accordance with Section 54 PITA, CAP P8, LFN, 2004 (as amended).
“It is also important to let you know that we are currently meeting with about 250 MDAs for the review and reconciliation of IPPIS/Personal Income Tax/PAYE.
“This is to address issues of wrong remittance, non-remittance and under-remittance of employees of MDAs in the FCT.
“We are carrying out this exercise in collaboration with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and Joint Tax Board.
“Let me use this medium to invite all the MDAs that are yet to come for the exercise to please turn up before the deadline of December 10, 2021,” he said.
The acting chairman said the Service would not rest on its oars until it becomes the highest sub-national revenue-generating agency in the country.
He, therefore, solicited the support of all major stakeholders, including the media, in order to achieve the target.
“Though it is a huge task but with determination and commitment of board members, management, staff and stakeholders like you, we shall achieve the 2022 target,” he said.
He said the Service planned to embark on an aggressive public enlightenment campaign to educate and mobilise prospective taxpayers with a view to boosting the revenue base of the FCT.
The acting chairman explained that since the inception of the service, it had been educating and sensitising the residents and taxpayers to their civic responsibilities.
Mr Abdullahi said that in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies the service would also embark on enforcement of its mandates in 2022.
“This is in accordance with section eight and Part V of the FCT-IRS Act 2015. This resolve has become necessary to address defaulters who insist on shortchanging the FCT Administration,” he said.
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