Fact CheckHealth

Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

President Muhammadu Buhari said that 38.7 million, representing 35 per cent of total eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, have been fully vaccinated against the virus. 

Data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) showed the total number of Nigerians who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is over 45 million representing 40.3 per cent of the targeted population. 

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On October 17, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the last Ministerial Performance Review Retreat of his administration at Abuja, said 38.7 million Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing 35 per cent of the total eligible population targeted for vaccination.

This was contained in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019, there have been concerns about safety and survival, particularly in developing African countries with little to no health facilities to deal with the pandemic. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in April 2020 warned that Africa could become the next epicentre of the pandemic, noting that the outbreak might likely kill at least 300, 000 people in Africa and push nearly 30 million into poverty.

According to data from Worldometers, as of October 18, 2022, there are about 630, 670, 164 diagnosed coronavirus cases worldwide, with 6,573,608 deaths. 

Of this number, only 265,741 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria and 258, 993 cases have been discharged while 3,155 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


Nigeria had set a goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022, following the WHO’s recommendation.

Ahead of the vaccine rollout, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, explained that the federal government planned to vaccinate all eligible population from 18 years and above, including pregnant women.

However, Nigeria has so far failed to meet its set target. At the end of 2021 and as of August 2022, only 27.7 million eligible persons had been fully vaccinated.

Further checks by DUBAWA on the NPHCDA website revealed that 45, 044, 523 Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 16, 2022. 

This figure represents 40.3 per cent of the population as against the 35 per cent given by the president. 

Also, the COVID-19 vaccination update on the website shows that 12, 734, 476 (11%) of the eligible population have been partially vaccinated against the virus. 


President Buhari’s assertion that 35 per cent of Nigeria’s eligible population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is inaccurate. The correct figure is 40.3 per cent. 

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