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Buhari regime blames U.S. lawmakers for preventing Nigeria from buying attack helicopters



Foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama has appealed to the U.S. government for support to tackle COVID-19 and develop a vaccine facility.

On Thursday, Mr Onyeama spoke at a press conference alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“The United States has been very supportive in the health area with vaccines for the COVID, and we’re hoping that they might support us to develop capacity – manufacturing capacity for vaccines, helping with technology transfer and intellectual property agreements with the various pharmaceutical companies,” Mr Onyeama said. 

Nigeria has been able to carry out the nationwide vaccination scheme largely with credit facilities from international organizations such as the World Bank or donations from humanitarian organizations.

After the first batch of 3.94 million AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines had been released in March, N10 billion had been released to support the production of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria in May. 

At the time, health minister Osagie Ehanire said that manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines locally was not possible. Mr Ehanire attributed the delay to the Buhari-led government’s inability to procure the required technology for production.

In July, Mr Ehanire announced that the country was expecting over 29 million of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, which Nigeria had purchased through the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) facility.

In October, The World Bank approved a $400 million credit facility to Mr Buhari’s regime for additional financing for Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccine acquisition. The agreement was to help Nigeria purchase vaccines for about 40 million of the country’s population and support effective vaccine deployment to about 110 million Nigerians.

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