Purchased through a private sector partnership by the corporate group that imports materials to process locally, the vaccine will be the first available to Nigerians.
One of Africa’s largest conglomerates, the BUA Group, has paid for one million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines for Nigeria through the African Export Import Bank (Afrexim) Vaccine programme. The purchase was made in partnership with the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID), a private sector task force collaborating with the Nigerian government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat Covid in Nigeria.
These doses of the vaccine, which should be delivered by next week, will be the first delivery of vaccines to Nigeria since the Covid-19 shots became available. According to BUA, the vaccines will be distributed free to Nigerians at no cost.
Philanthropist and BUA founder, Abdul Samad Rabiu, thanked the President of the AFRIXEM Bank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, for making the purchase possible and the Nigerian Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for coordinating the process through CACOVID’s private sector partnership.
“BUA decided to secure one million doses of the vaccine by paying the full amount, because they became available only last week through AFREXIM. We expect the vaccines to be delivered within the next 14 days and hope priority will be given to our frontline workers, who have committed their lives to managing the pandemic,” said Mr. Rabiu.
“In addition to this contribution, BUA is committing to purchase 5 million additional doses for Nigeria as soon as they become available through this same arrangement,” he added.
This arrangement positions Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, to be among the continent’s first countries to secure the vaccine against the SARS–CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.