The management of BUA Group has said that some members of the Coalition Against COVID-19 are not happy with its decision to pay the sum of N1.31bn for the purchase of one million COVID-19 vaccines.
The disclosure is coming just 24 hours after BUA Group announced the donation of one million vaccines to be delivered in the next 14 days.
In a fresh statement dated February 8, the conglomerate insisted on its donation towards Nigeria’s race for Covid-19 vaccine through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
BUA said, it “receives with utter shock reports allegedly attributed to CACOVID, disowning its earlier payment through CACOVID for 1 million AstraZeneca doses for Nigeria via the AFREXIM vaccine platform.
“At the cacovid steering committee meeting held today February 8, 2021 (of which BUA is a member), members were informed by the CBN Governor 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.”
BUA said after extensive deliberations, no member of the CACOVID made donations for the procuring of the stated doses, except the donation it made.
The Group said, “There was no agreement reached and despite members being offered the opportunity to donate funds towards procuring the doses, none offered.
The company said BUA then took it upon itself to offer to pay for the one million doses at the agreed rate of $3.45 per dose totaling $3,450,000,000.00 which translates to N1.311bn.
It added “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 in order to meet the deadline.
“However, with this development by the CACOVID operations committee, we now have just cause to believe 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 alleged that prominent members of the CACOVID were not happy with the gesture which it said explains the reason for disowning the report.
It added, “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.
“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.
“We stand ready to keep supporting and despite this petty action, we have 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.”