Uche Usim, Abuja
The Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning has pulled down a tweet where it requested for ventilators from South African billionaire, Elon Musk.
The tweet was yanked off after Nigerians attacked the ministry for such a sloppy procedure to acquire the equipment needed to treat COVID-19 patients.
Musk, who is also a citizen of the United States and Canada, had tweeted on Tuesday that his company, Tesla, would distribute ventilators to hospitals worldwide within the company’s delivery regions.
He said: “We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse,”.
Responding to Musk’s tweet on Wednesday, the ministry said Nigeria needed about 100 to 500 ventilators to help with the fight against the rampaging coronavirus.
“Dear @elonmusk @Tesla Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with #Covid19 cases arising every day in Nigeria,” it said.
When asked for confirmation and reaction, the Special Assistant, Media and Communication to the Finance Minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi said; “there was an unauthorised post made on the verified Twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“The fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down. We have made sure our internal processes are strengthened that such doesn’t happen again. The error is highly regrettable”.
Nigeria currently has 174 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and experts say the growing number has made the number of ventilators grossly insufficient.