Nigeria Awaits Supply of 30 Million Covid Vaccines That It Purchased
(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria is yet to receive supplies of 30 million coronavirus vaccines that it ordered and paid for, the country’s finance minister said Friday.
“We have paid for vaccines, the supplies are not coming,” Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “The donations that have been pledged to us are trickling in.”
Africa’s most populous country has only been able to give the Covid-19 jabs to 4 million people from a population of about 211 million. “We need to be able to find vaccines to ensure that we are able to contain the pandemic,” Ahmed said. The country has set a target of vaccinating 70% of its population.
Read more from the interview:
On Oil prices
The current oil prices are well above the $40 per barrel in this year’s budget. This will mean higher oil revenues for Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest producer of the commodity. This is dampened by the challenge of having to import refined crude to use in-country due to a lack of local refining capacity, Ahmed said.
On Dangote refinery
Importation of refined crude products is a challenge that is expected to go away by the middle of next year when a refinery being built by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote comes on stream, Ahmed said. “It will mean we will save up to 30% of the current foreign-exchange expenditure on imports.” The country also expects to earn dollars from the exports of refined products from Dangote refinery.
On exchange rates
The government is working with the central bank to close the gap between the official and unofficial exchange rates of the naira. “What we have to do is to improve the sources of foreign-exchange away from oil and gas,” she said.
On debt-service burden
Nigeria has a revenue problem and the government is working to curtail expenditure by limiting what state-owned corporations spend to no more than 50% of their revenues.
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