BUA Group Blasts CACOVID over Vaccine Purchase

February 9, 2021
BUA Group crash prices of food items

By Adedapo Adesanya

BUA Group has lambasted the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for disowning its claims on the purchase acquisition of a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine for Nigeria.

After reports went viral on Monday that the conglomerate had acquired the vaccines, the coalition quickly remarked that “no individual or company can purchase vaccines directly from any legitimate and recognized manufacturer.”

But the company has warned the coalition not to play politics with Nigerian lives.

It also went ahead to release details of what transpired at the CACOVID steering committee where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced that CACOVID had been given the opportunity, through the Afrexim Platform, to access and pay for one million doses, provided payment was made today or tomorrow – failure which the opportunity to get those doses next week may be lost.

According to BUA, after extensive deliberations, there was no agreement reached and despite members being offered the opportunity to donate funds towards procuring the doses, no one offered.

It noted that, “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 $3.450 million which translates to N1.311 billion.

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

BUA with evidence affirmed that the payment was made immediately after the meeting and transferred the money to the CBN in order to meet the deadline.

The group noted the actions of the CACOVID team only meant 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 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,” it said.

It continued, “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.”

The group then added that regardless the action, 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.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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