Telecoms giant, MTN says the Nigerian government has taken delivery of the first set of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of a total of 1.4 million doses designated for Nigeria by the African Union (AU).
In a Tuesday statement, MTN Group said it contributed $25 million towards the acquisition of the vaccines that are a combination of doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility, and from the African Union’s (AU) COVID-19 vaccination programme.
According to the statement, the vaccines will be distributed amongst health workers in Nigeria by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Commenting on the vaccines, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Director-General of NPHCDA said, “On behalf of health care workers in Nigeria, we commend the efforts of the Nigerian government and the African Union in the fight against COVID-19, and we thank MTN for their collaboration. The arrival of these vaccines is a major step, as we try to stay ahead of the virus. We need all the collaboration we can get, and I implore more organisations to join this drive for the Nigerian people.”
Also speaking, Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu expressed appreciation on behalf of the government.
“The donation of COVID-19 vaccines is truly helpful, and we are grateful. We can only succeed against COVID-19 when we fight together. These vaccines will go a long way in protecting health workers, who are on the frontline, and need all the protection they can get at this critical moment, hence the prioritisation of their vaccinations.”
Expanding on the power of partnership and collaboration, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola said, “I thank the Nigerian government and the African Union for the opportunity they granted MTN to collaborate and contribute towards the delivery of these vaccines. The ongoing threat of COVID-19 requires a vast and accelerated effort by both the private and public sectors. Partnerships like this practically demonstrate what can achieved when we work together for Africa’s (and indeed Nigeria’s) progress. We are truly privileged to have been able to play our part in contributing towards government’s efforts to protect and save lives.”