CACOVID, BUA disagree over payment for 1m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

BUA Group and Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) are in a  disagreement over the purchase of 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The disagreement began following an announcement by BUA Group that it had donated 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to the federal government of Nigeria.

“BUA decided to secure these 1million vaccines by paying the full amount for the vaccines today because these vaccines became available only last week through AFREXIM,” BUA stated.

Disclaiming BUA’s stand on the payment for the vaccine, CACOVID, a private sector-led group, in a statement released Monday, said there was no such agreement that the BUA group would singlehandedly make the purchase.

Read Also: #EndSARS: Why we delayed distribution of COVID-19 palliatives – CACOVID

“CACOVID is dismayed to learn of reports on social media today alleging that BUA is singlehandedly purchasing 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Nigeria. Alhaji Abdulsamad must have been misquoted because these claims are not factual as CACOVID operates on a collegiate fund contribution model. There is no agreement between BUA, CACOVID and Afreximbank,” the statement read in part.

In its explanation, CACOVID further said that Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had informed the team that he held a call with Aliko Dangote, CEO of Dangote Group,

“During the CACOVID weekly call of February 8th, Governor Emefiele, relayed to the larger group a call that he held with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank Group and Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, where they were briefed on two billion dollars facility set up by the Apex bank with the African Union Vaccine Taskforce.”

According to CACOVID, Oramah said 1 million doses were ready for shipment to Nigeria in the next two weeks if a down payment was made by Monday, February 8th.

CACOVID stated that the 1 million doses, being the first tranche, were worth 3.45 million dollars and the team agreed to contribute 100 million dollars for that purpose.

CACOVID further said that the purchase of the vaccine was only possible through the federal government and no individual or company could do so on its own.

“CACOVID would like the Nigerian public to understand that vaccine purchase is only possible through the federal government of Nigeria, and that no individual or company can purchase vaccines directly from any legitimate and recognised manufacturer,” the statement further read.

Against the stance of CACOVID, BUA, in a statement made available to The ICIR, warned the private sector group against playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.

According to the BUA group, it took the initiative to pay for the vaccines after other members of the group refused to donate towards purchasing them.

“After extensive deliberations, there was no agreement reached and despite members being offered the opportunity to donate funds towards procuring the doses, none offered.

“BUA then took it upon itself to offer to pay for the 1 million doses at the agreed rate of 3.45 dollars per dose totalling US3.45million dollars which translates to 1.311billion naira,” the BUA statement read in part.




     

     

    BUA further said it noticed that a ‘prominent member’ of CACOVID was unhappy that it took the initiative to make the payment.

    “We find this release by CACOVID to be very petty and unbecoming of seemingly serious corporate citizens because it is tantamount to playing politics with the lives of Nigerians. This is no time for politics.

    “It is time for us to come together to help Nigerians and it does not matter who is helping or paying,” the statement further read.

    CACOVID was launched in March 2020 as a task force consisting of private sectors in partnership with the CBN and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to eradicate COVID-19 and its effect on Nigeria.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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