Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed the State Government’s plan on Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine rollout and the effort to bolster mass vaccination of residents in the State.
Lagos, Sanwo-Olu disclosed, is aiming to achieve 60 per cent vaccine rollout when the vaccination programme commences in the coming weeks, stressing that the figure would help check rate of transmission and build the resilience of the State against the ravaging virus.
The Governor spoke on “Sunday Politics”, a live television programme anchored by Channels TV’s Kayode Okikiolu. He also spoke on activities of his Government since inception and other germane issues around development of Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government did not have the plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, as the State may not have the resources to do that; he said critical segments in the State population would be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the pandemic.
Aside the vaccine arrangement being made by the Federal Government for States, the Governor said Lagos, which is the epicentre of COVID-19 infection, had activated plans to augment the vaccine that would be delivered to the State.
He said: “As a sovereign, we want the Federal Government to take the lead in getting the vaccine. As a sub-national Government, we are taking our destiny into our own hand. We have started conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers. I have made contact with Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca. Developers of Moderna have written to us and we have written back to them.
“We are making our own sub-national contacts and part of the things to come out of this effort is that, once we see what the national government is doing in terms of protocols, then we can plan for our rollout. The contacts we made with vaccine developers are at the board level.
“We don’t have to vaccinate the whole of 22 million people in Lagos. The plan is around ensuring that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks to 50 to 60 percent of our population. That’s the target we need to really meet in vaccine rollout”.
On how Lagos would get resources to fund its vaccine programme, the Governor said the bulk of the finances would be realised from the private sector donations and international grants, adding that the State Government also had allocation for COVID-19 project in its 2021 budget.
Sanwo-Olu also spoke on how his administration had strengthened security and the plan to improve efficiency of security architecture in Lagos.
He said Lagos would continue to push for domestication of State Policing as a strategy to efficiently combat crime and strengthen security across the State. He stressed the need to employ technology in intelligence gathering, noting that the State Government was on the verge of rolling out 2,000 security cameras across communities through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).
He said: “One of the things we can do quickly is to improve the ratio of police to citizens number. That has not happened in a number of years. We believe that Lagos is under-policed, even as human population increases. If we address this imbalance through State Policing model, we can see a turnaround in security response. We are ready to have this conversation with the Police Force whenever they are ready.
“In our Smart City project, we are installing 2,000 high-definition security cameras to boost security architecture in Lagos. We are set and before the end of the year, a lot of cameras will be up on our streets. Technology is one of the things we can use to efficiently provide security. With the data from the cameras, we can get more deterrent from troublemakers.”