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BUA, CACOVID at loggerheads over COVID-19 vaccine procurement

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 CACOVID, has rejected the claim by one of its members, the BUA group, that it purchased one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria.

BUA, A leading food and infrastructure conglomerate on Monday, announced that it secured one million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, through the AfreximBank vaccine programme in partnership with CACOVID.

CACOVID later responded in a statement, claiming that the purchase of the vaccine could not be done by individuals or companies, but only through the Federal Government.

 “CACOVID is dismayed to learn of reports on social media today alleging that BUA is singlehandedly purchasing one million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Nigeria,” It stated.

“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.”

It explained that during the CACOVID weekly call on Monday, Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, told the coalition a call he held with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Group Managing Director, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, with Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah, on Sunday.

The coalition stated, “President Oramah briefed the three CACOVID leaders on the $2bn facility the bank has set up with the African Union Vaccine taskforce to purchase vaccines for the African Continent.

“The allocation for Nigeria has been capped at 42 million doses.

“President Oramah explained that one million doses were ready for shipment to Nigeria in the next two weeks if a down payment was made by today, February 8th.”

Reacting to CACOVID statement, BUA stated that after extensive deliberations, there was no agreement reached and despite members being offered the opportunity to donate funds towards procuring the doses, none offered.

It stated, “BUA then took it upon itself to offer to pay for the one million doses at the agreed rate of $3.45 per dose totalling $3.45m which translates to N1.311bn.

“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.

BUA stated that the payment was made immediately after the meeting and transferred the money to the CBN in order to meet the deadline, PUNCH reported.

It stated, “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 one million doses of the vaccine next week.

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

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