Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that his administration does not need to vaccinate over 20 million residents of the state against the deadly COVID-19.
He disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, adding that the state government is engaging some companies in the production of COVID-19 vaccines for residents of the state.
“It is important for me to make this. 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 speaks about 50 to 60 percent of your population, that is the kind of target that you really meet,” he 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 Moderna has written to us and we have written back to them.”
When asked how the government intends to fund the vaccine, Sanwo-Olu said his administration is engaging with the private sector.
He said although the state government has earmarked billions in fighting the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted the amount wouldn’t be enough.
“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,” he added.
Speaking on the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the state government to address cases of police brutality, Governor Sanwo-Olu asked residents of the state to be patient.
He explained that upon the expiration of the six-month duration of the panel, the state government would implement the recommendations of the panel.
On security, Sanwo-Olu 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.
“If we can get the ratio right, if we can get the proportion right, then we can see a lot more activity; you can see a quicker response time between when it (crime) happens and when they respond.”
While admitting that the State Government can do nothing to increase the number of police officers in the State, Governor Sanwo-Olu, however, assured that security officers will continue to get the government’s backing.
“The minimum I can do is to up the skills and up the infrastructure and the equipment for the number we have in the Lagos State Command,” he said. “We give them all the support that they require.”
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.
A strong tool
According to Sanwo-Olu, his government is adopting technology in the fight against crime in Lagos State.
“We are doing a 2,000 high definition CCTV camera infrastructure architecture in the state,” the governor said, noting that the project has started.
“Technology is one of the things we believe we can use as a strong tool to help security architecture and make them do their work well.”