The Coalition Against COVID-19 said the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, lied over his claim that he had concluded arrangements for the purchase of one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The BUA Group announced the development in a statement on Monday.
It said: “BUA, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, has paid for one million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria through the AFREXIM Vaccine programme in partnership with CACOVID. These doses of the vaccine which should be delivered by next week, will be the first delivery of Vaccines to Nigeria since the COVID-19 vaccines became available. According to BUA, the vaccines will be distributed free to Nigerians at no cost.
“Speaking on this development, Philanthropist and Founder of BUA, Abdul Samad Rabiu thanked the President of the Afrexim Bank, Dr. Benedict Oramah for making the purchase possible and the Nigerian Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for coordinating the process through the CACOVID Private Sector partnership. According to him, ‘BUA decided to secure these 1million vaccines by paying the full amount for the vaccines today because these vaccines became available only last week through AFREXIM. We expect the vaccines to be delivered within the next 14 days and hope priority will be given to our frontline workers who have committed their lives to managing the pandemic. In addition to this, BUA is committing to purchase 5 million doses for Nigeria as soon as they become available through this same arrangement.”
But in its reaction shortly after the statement was released, COCAVID said it was not aware of any arrangement for the purchase of the vaccine as claimed by BUA in the statement.
It said: “CACOVID is dismayed to learn of reports on social media today alleging that BUA is singlehandedly purchasing 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Nigeria. 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.
“During the CACOVID weekly call of February 8th, 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 February 7th. President Oramah briefed the 3 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 42 million doses. President Oramah explained that 1 million doses were ready for shipment to Nigeria in the next 2 weeks if a down payment was made by today, February 8th.
“At today’s meeting, CACOVID leadership agreed to contribute $100 million to procure vaccines for Nigeria, these 1 million doses from Afreximbank worth $3.45 million, being the very first tranche. CACOVID will purchase vaccines through other credible and subsidised mechanisms such as COVAX.
“The vaccines will be delivered to Nigeria and distributed through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).
“CACOVID would like the Nigerian public to understand that vaccine purchase is only possible through the Federal Government of Nigeria, and that no individual or company can purchase vaccines directly from any legitimate and recognised manufacturer.”