Federal civil servants may soon be subjected to compulsory COVID-19 vaccination as part of plan to weaken the strength of the disease in Nigeria.
This is as government assured that sufficient dose of the vaccine would be made available before the policy on compulsory vaccination for civil servants would be implemented.
Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at the Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum meeting in Abuja, said federal civil servants are representatives of the government and could be assigned to represent government at public functions, locally or internationally, hence the need to be fully vaccinated.
He said: “The vaccine mandate will soon come. The world is gravitating towards that direction. I can confirm to you that by the time western countries are done vaccinating its people, unvaccinated persons won’t be allowed access into any of the western countries without the vaccine certificate. So, it’s better we begin to prepare our people at home.”
He, thus, registered his concern that Nigeria has been experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases lately, but assured Nigerians that the response team are working assiduously with a reinvigorated approach to contain the community transmission, thus soliciting for more support from Nigerians.
Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, said the Federal Government was working towards increasing domestic resources for the health sector by pooling ‘sin’ taxes on tobacco and other products.
He said doing so was important because funding has been the major challenge of the health sector, adding, “we need to begin to tax commodities like alcohol, and cigarettes, among others which causes a lot of damage to the human body.
“That is why we are saying if people take these things, let us find a way to put some tax on it so that we can get some money to fund the health sector in addition to existing funding structures,” Mamora said.
PFN faults plan
However, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), the umbrella body of over more than 65 million people in Pentecostal churches in the country, has described as illogical, the move by the Federal Government to punish Nigerians, who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Its President, Bishop Wale Oke, who is also the presiding bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, made the disclosure at the on-going 39th annual holy ghost convention of the ministry with the theme, ‘Abundant Rain’, holding at the campus of Precious Cornerstone University, Garden of Victory, Ibadan, Oyo State
He also cautioned government against molesting or punishing Navy Commodore Kunle Olawunmi (retd), for alleging a cover up by the government of some high profile politicians behind the raging insurgency and banditry in the country.
Oke urged President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration to be rational in their approach as regards punishing Nigerians who refused to take the COVID-19 vaccines, adding that the available vaccines could not even go round all the people in the country.
“One doubts if Nigeria can yet boast of having 10 million vaccines available for a country with over 200million population. If the Federal Government makes available about 250 million vaccines and Nigerians, who are yet to be vaccinated refused the COVID-19 vaccines, then the government can be justified in its action. Unless this be the case, one will be forced to view the whole thing as another subtle move to deliberately punish some sections of the country,” he said.