The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, says the processes for accessing and procuring vaccines for Nigerians have reached an advanced stage.
He assured that the government would continue to ensure that the vaccines would be safe and effective for Nigerians when eventually procured.
He gave the assurance in Abuja on Monday at the briefing of the PTF.
He said: “As you’re aware, the whole world is pursuing the same commodity and we have to secure our source while at the same time prepare our infrastructure and capacity for administration.
Mustapha recalled that President Buhari authorized the extension of all measures in place, including the limitation of the categories of workers allowed to go to the office to those above Grade Level 12.
He said the PTF received reports that MDAs were compelling their workers in the categories barred from the office to report for work.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubts, all employees from GL 12 and below shall continue to work from home and no agency is allowed to vary this instruction. Permanent Secretaries and CEOs are to ensure strict compliance.”
He said the PTF had reviewed reports received on the new testing regime allegedly imposed by some airlines and the associated charges.
He warned that this was considered inimical to the interest of Nigerians and would be addressed through appropriate channels.
“In our effort to continue to balance lives and livelihood, I wish to state that the PTF is fully conscious of the pains and concerns of businesses in the aviation and related sectors, especially around international airports that are yet to reopen (Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu).”
‘Flight operations may stop’
Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, said flight operations from the United Arab Emirates and Netherlands might be suspended due to the new COVID-19 protocols introduced by both countries for incoming travelers.
He said both countries recently requested that passengers from Nigeria carry out a PCR test four hours before departing the country.
“In addition to the requirements are a requirement for PCR test before passengers depart from Nigeria to their countries.
“They’re adding an extra requirement of having a rapid test done four hours before departure or before you board.
“For us, passengers do the test 72 hours before departure and then the PCR test and the PTF recognizes the rights of all countries to put in measures to protect their citizens just like Nigeria has done,” Nuhu said.