The Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) and BUA Group have differed over the purchase of a one million dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
BUA had in a statement by its Group Head, Corporate Communications, O’tega Ogra a day earlier, disclosed that the purchase by BUA Group was made possible through a collaboration of BUA with CACOVID and Afrexim Bank.
Ogra who further disclosed that the vaccines will be delivered within 14days also said BUA has committed to purchasing 5m doses through the same arrangement once vaccines become available.
However, a statement from the CACOVID secretariat shortly after stated that, media reports alleging that BUA is singlehandedly purchasing the vaccine doses for Nigeria was not factual.
It said there is no agreement between BUA, CACOVID and Afreximbank. “During the CACOVID weekly call of February 8, Governor Emefiele, relayed to the larger group a call that he held with Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Herbert Wigwe with Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah on Sunday Feb 7.
“President Oramah briefed the three CACOVID leaders on the $2 billion 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 42m doses. President Oramah explained that 1 million doses were ready for shipment to Nigeria in two weeks if a down payment was made by February 8.
“At the meeting, CACOVID leadership agreed to contribute $100m to procure vaccines for Nigeria, these 1m doses from Afreximbank worth $3.45m, being the very first tranche.”
However, BUA in a counter response to the CACOVID secretariat said it received with utter shock that the coalition denied BUA earlier payment through CACOVID for 1m AstraZeneca doses for Nigeria via the AFREXIM vaccine platform.
BUA spokesman, Ogra said there was no consensus to buy the vaccine doses by February 8. “BUA then took it upon itself to offer to pay for the 1m doses at the agreed rate of US$3.45 per dose totalling US$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.
“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,” BUA noted.
The Administrator of CACOVID, Mrs. Zouera Youssoufou, who spoke on ARISE TV News shortly after, said: “So nobody is disputing a transfer into Central Bank account; nobody is saying that did not happen, that is not where the challenge is. The challenge is the claim that one company has brought vaccines into Nigeria because that is not factual.”
Youssoufou said only the Federal Government, through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) can obtain any COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic.