Telecommunication giant, MTN has donated 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Nigerian government to support fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Earlier in January, the MTN group in conjunction with the African Union(AU) had pledged a $25million donation for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines to member countries of AU to support the fight against the global pandemic.
According to the telco, the 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine was in partial fulfillment of the 1.4 million doses designated for Nigeria by the AU.
A statement issued by MTN recently titled, noted that the telco had contributed $25 million for the vaccines, a combination of doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility and from the AU COVID-19 vaccination programme.
The Presidential Task Force(PTF) Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha had confirmed the receipt of the vaccines from MTN.
He said: “On March 21, 2021, the PTF received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria. This is acknowledged with thanks as we encourage other partners to contribute towards the fight against COVID-19.”
The vaccine is expected to be distributed amongst health workers in Nigeria by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA).
The Director-General of the NPHDA, Faisal Shuaib, commended the MTN Group’s collaboration with the Nigeria government.
According to Shuaib, the arrival of the vaccines was a major step, and he advocated for more collaborations, imploring organisations to join the drive for the Nigerian people.
Also speaking, DG of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, expressed appreciation on behalf of the government.
He said: “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.”
Chief Executive Officer, MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola, emphasised the power of partnership and collaboration, explaining that the ongoing threat of COVID-19 required a vast and accelerated effort by both private and public sectors.
Toriola said the partnership demonstrated what could be achieved when working together for the progress of Nigeria Africa.