COVID-19 Vaccines: BUA Accuses CACOVID Of Pettiness, Shows Evidence For Purchase Of 1million Doses

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The purchase of COVID-19 vaccines is causing crisis in the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

CACOVID is a private sector initiative for the fight against COVID-19. BUA group, a member of the coalition on Tuesday accused the coalition of playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.

Earlier on Monday, BUA group announced that it will single-handedly purcase 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the Afrexim platform.

However, the coalition in a statement refuted the claim by BUA group, noting that the purchase of the vaccines cannot be done by an individual.

But in a counter-statement, BUA released evidence of its payment of 1 billion Naira to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the purchase of the vaccines.

BUA in the statement claimed some persons within the group are being petty. It also revealed that the offer to donate for the intiative was tabled at a meeting with the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, however, none of the other members were willing to donate.

The statement said that BUA was shocked over the report attributed to CACOVID which disowned its payment of 1 million AstraZeneca doses for Nigerians, stating that the purchase was done in good faith.

It said that at the CACOVID steering committee meeting held on Monday the CBN Governor disclosed that CACOVID had been given the opportunity through the Afrexim Platform to access and pay for 1 million doses, but that it took it upon itself to purchase the vaccines when other members showed no interest in the payment.

BUA Group, however, said it finds the release by CACOVID to be very petty and unbecoming of seemingly serious corporate citizens, insisting that it stands ready to keep supporting Nigerians despite this petty action. It said it has decided to let the money remain in the CACOVID account with the CBN pending when they are ready to utilize the funds for Nigerians to access the vaccines.”

The statement in full…

“BUA receives with utter shock, reports allegedly attributed to CACOVID, disowning its earlier payment through CACOVID for 1 million AstraZeneca doses for Nigeria via the AFREXIM vaccine platform.

”At the cacovid steering committee meeting held today February 8, 2021 (of which BUA is a member), members were informed by the CBN Governor that CACOVID had been given the opportunity through the Afrexim Platform to access and pay for 1 million doses, provided payment was made today or tomorrow, failure which the opportunity to get those doses next week may be lost.

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”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 1million doses at the agreed rate of US$3.45 per dose totaling US$3,450,000,000.00 which translates to 1.31 1billion Naira.

”The Chairman of BUA also requested through the CBN governor that the Naira equivalent be paid to the relevant account with CBN, and that CBN forward the dollar payment to Afrexim on CACOVID’s behalf.

”This payment was made immediately after the meeting and BUA transferred the money to the CBN (see payment confirmation attached) in order to meet the deadline. However, with this development by the CACOVID operations committee, we now have just cause to believe that some members of CACOVID were not happy that BUA took this initiative in the interest of Nigeria and to ensure that the deadline was met to receive the 1 million doses of the vaccine next week.

”BUA did this gesture in good faith as it has done with its interventions throughout the pandemic.

”We will however like to state clearly that we are aware that a prominent member of CACOVID is not happy that BUA took the initiative to pay for the vaccines fulfilling our pledge just as we said during the meeting. Now they want to scuttle it by this action because they were unable to take the initiative.

”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.

”We stand ready to keep supporting and despite this petty action, we have decided to let the money remain in the CACOVID Account with the CBN pending when they are ready to utilize the funds for Nigerians to access the vaccines.”

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