Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, says the priority of the Federal Government at the moment should be economic recovery and not the procurement of Covid vaccines.
Reports earlier indicated that Nigeria may spend about $1.4bn (N540.4bn, at the official exchange rate of $1: N386) to procure and distribute 218,400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Kogi State governor described as misplacement of priority, the move to “expend N540bn in the purchase of vaccines”.
“All these brouhaha coming up about Covid-19 and vaccines, I don’t think we deserve it now. We have a struggling economy that Mr President inherited, recession, low income, left, right, and centre and Mr President is doing his best to pull out of the woods,” he said adding, “Those of us charged with the responsibility of advising Mr President should do that with utmost fear of God Almighty.”
Bello, who spoke on Wednesday morning, also said another lockdown would be inimical to Nigeria’s struggling economy.
He further criticised the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 for importing foreign measures to manage the pandemic in the country. “You can’t do cut and paste on issues like this,” the governor said while featuring on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
“From CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) analysis sometimes back, N3.5trn expended so far on Covid-related matters. We don’t need to have gone through that route,” he said. “How did we spend that money? That is unprecedented. We should ask questions on national issues that concern our lives.”