..Commits to purchase 5 million vaccines through BUA/CACOVID/AFREXIM Partnership to be distributed to Nigerians at no cost.
By Audrey Lotechukwu
TUE 09 FEB, 2021-theGBJournal- BUA, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, has paid for 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for Nigeria through the AFREXIM Vaccine programme in partnership with Coalition Against COVID-19 (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,” Rabiu added.
This development effectively pushes Africa’s most populous nation to the front of the queue in vaccine procurement.
Meanwhile, the conglomerate berated the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), describing the private sector task force on COVID-19 as ‘’petty’’ as it seek to clarify payment it made to procure the vaccines.
CACOVID was reported to have disowned BUA’s earlier payment through CACOVID for 1 million AstraZeneca doses for Nigeria via AFREXIM vaccine platform.
BUA said Monday in a statement seen by theGBJounal that they find the report ‘’petty and unbecoming of seemingly serious corporate citizens because it is tantamount to playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.’’
According to BUA, ‘’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.
BUA, earlier in their statement, said that they ‘’clearly 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.’’