The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday gave the Ministry of Finance the approval to procure fresh World Bank $150m credit facility in support of polio eradication in the country.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adeosun said the facility, which was the third additional financing, was built upon substantial past investments which she said had paid off with Nigeria now on the verge of polio eradication.

She explained that the objective of the project was to assist the Federal Government, as part of a global polio eradication effort, achieve and sustain at least 80 per cent coverage with Oral Polio Vaccine immunisation in every state in the country and improve routine immunisation.

The project, she further explained, would be coordinated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency at the federal level and implemented in the 12 lagging states.

She listed the states as Adamawa, Bayelsa, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara.

She said the proposed project would have three components: polio eradication support, routine immunisation support and routine immunisation system strengthening.

The minister added, “The proposed project will help the implementation of national and state level polio immunisation campaigns and support the procurement of vaccines for routine immunisation.

“It will provide critical needed funds to avoid any disruption in polio eradication activities, sustain coverage and prevent deterioration in routine immunisation.

“The project is expected to support further the scaling up of immunisation activities which include the introduction of powerful new vaccines against rota-virusdiarrhea, measles and meningitis which are major killers of children; strengthening the management of the immunisation programme at the national and sub-national levels, and supporting the cold chain and logistic systems.”

Adeosun said Nigeria was making significant progress on polio eradication, saying the country had officially interrupted the transmission of the wild polio virus with no recorded cases in the last 21 months.