BUA Group has tackled the Coalition Against COVID-19, (CACOVID) for rejecting the company’s donation of one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nigeria.
BUA on Tuesday alleged that it is aware that some members of CACOVID were not happy the organization took the initiative before them but warned that politics should not be played with the life and health of Nigerians.
It will be recalled as earlier reported by Naija News that BUA Group announced on Monday that it has paid for one million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria.
The firm said the vaccines are expected to be delivered next week and distributed at no cost to Nigerians through CACOVID.
However, there was a twist in the plot as CACOVID debunked the statement by the BUA group, as its operations committee denied that BUA would singlehandedly secure the doses.
The group added that purchase of the vaccine cannot be done by individuals or companies, but only through the federal government.
In a swift reaction, BUA has now explained how it paid for the vaccines through the Central Bank of Nigeria using the Afrexim Platform adding that the window of opportunity could have been lost if payment was not done within the timeframe.
According to BUA, it took it upon itself to make the move in the interest of Nigerians.
It explained: “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 1.311billion 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.”
The firm expressed shock 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.”
Adding that: “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,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported 643 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that the new cases were reported in a post on the disease control agency’s Twitter handle on Monday night, February 8, 2021.
The newly reported cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria to 140,391 which includes 114,635 discharged cases and 1,673 deaths.