A former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections in Nigeria, Peter Obi, has said the management of COVID-19 in Nigeria has not been as transparent as it should.
Obi stated this when he featured on an ARISE News programme: “The Morning Show,” on Tuesday.
He said: “I don’t want it to be as if I am always on the negative side, but the reality is that things are not going as transparently as it should.
“When we talk about management from the onset, yes they are trying to do it in the Nigeria way, which I think we should now be doing things differently.
“We now need to be doing things transparently and where people can see cost-effectiveness, savings and everything.
“That was why when you saw EndSARS people were going to break warehouses, nobody knew those things were packed in warehouses.”
Obi said the issue of vaccine is one he feels lots of pain as Nigeria had grounded the National Vaccine Production facility established in 1940 so that people can reap from the move.
He said: “Nigeria as a country in 1940 established what we called National Vaccine Production facility domiciled in Yaba (Lagos), and that was able to produce virtually all the vaccines we used in the days of smallpox, yellow fever, and that facility was shut down in 1991 to be refurbished and upgraded, there was nothing wrong with it.
“And till today, that has been the case deliberately so that people can import vaccine and sell to the government.
“Now I hear that we are looking for N400 billion.
“Well, I am at a loss.
“Our budget this year for health is N547 billion.
“I don’t know if they are going to take this vaccine procurement from it because if they do, we are left with N147 billion.
“The other one is already low and you’re going to worsen it if you do that and we say this year all we did in health is procurement.
“For the vaccine procurement also, we need to have transparency in the procurement.
“If they have a N400 billion budget to buy the vaccine, my suggestion: they don’t need to award contracts in this vaccine.
“Let them just call Serum institute in India and plead with them.
“I am sure they will even give us discount.
“If they want, I can go for the negotiation.”