…Targets 60% population
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said, yesterday, that his administration is in touch with manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lagos is the epicentre of the virus in Nigeria, with 35,804 cases in total, the highest from any region. It recorded 360 new cases of the virus on Sunday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
Sanwo-Olu, who stated this while on television programme late Sunday evening, said: “We have started a conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers. Pfizer for example. I have made contact with them, Johnson and Johnson, are not out yet. The Oxford-Astrazeneca, developers of Moderna, has written to us and we have written back to them.”
Part of the funding for the purchase of vaccines, the governor added, would be sourced from the private sector.
He said: “The conversations are still at various levels. We are speaking with the organised private sector so they can help us raise some of the finance that is required.
“We have our friends in the private sector who are saying to us that they understand this is a public health issue but we also can work with you. The citizens are your citizens but they also are our staff.
“We don’t have to vaccinate the 20 or 22 million population that we have. The plan is to ensure that there is herd immunity and that typically demands about 50 to 60 per cent of our population.”
On security, the governor admitted that the number of police officers manning Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre is inadequate for the city.
“We believe Lagos State is under policed in terms of the ratio. We believe that the population is also growing but we do not have the same growth in terms of the number of police officers that we have. That is some of the places where the imbalance lies,” the governor said, while explaining his government’s efforts at combating crime.
Sanwo-Olu, while admitting that the state government can not increase the number of police officers in the state, however, assured that security officers will continue to get the government’s backing.
He explained that there are ongoing conversations with the Federal Government on the adoption of community policing as a means to tackle insecurity in Lagos State and the country at large, stressing that community-based policing has worked well in other parts of the world.
According to Sanwo-Olu: “We are doing a 2,000 high definition CCTV camera infrastructure architecture in the state. Technology is one of the things we believe we can use as a strong tool to help the security architecture and make them do their work well.”