OrderPaperToday – The National Assembly Joint Committees on Health has sought the suspension of the use of a N10bn COVID-19 vaccines production fund.
This is because the Ministry of Health failed to provide a plan on how the funds will be utilized.
The federal lawmakers expressed their displeasure in a meeting on Tuesday with
the Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, and the Director-General of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, instructed the Ministry to provide a detailed plan before the N10bn is used.
He said: “This N10bn is just given to you, with due respect, with what you have given to us, you don’t have a specific detailed plan for it.
“Our decision, for now, is that you can’t spend it (the money) until you provide us satisfactory answer. Once you provide us the details then we will invite all the necessary persons.”
Responding, Osagie informed that the Federal Government had already made preliminary agreements and is acting on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with foreign partner, May and Baker PLC to produce bio vaccines.
Again, the federal lawmakers insisted that a comprehensive plan be made available.
Recall that on January 18, Osagie during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) COVID-19 briefing, disclosed that the Ministry of Finance has released N10bn to support COVID-19 vaccine production in the country.
Recall also that the Senate expressed displeasure on the discordant tunes from officials of the health ministry and parastatals under it on vaccines procurement and deployment.