The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has written to the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) over the reported sale of COVID-19 vaccines by some contemptuous staff of the organisation to intending travellers and others for an N5000 fee.
In the open letter, approved by its Executive Director, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi and copied Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 and Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the group said: “We write to draw your attention to reports from credible media platforms detailing how some unscrupulous and unpatriotic officials of the NPHCDA have been engaging in the corrupt and utterly reprehensible practice of collecting N5000 to issue COVID-19 vaccination cards, without the collectors taking the vaccines.
“ According to one of such reports by the Media West Africa Foundation, several vaccine sceptics, who are objecting to taking the vaccines but need the cards for the purpose of travelling, are being made to pay N5000 for the vaccination card, without taking the vaccine.
“To say the least, these allegations are disturbing. The serious infractions, which have been detailed in these investigative reports are capable of undermining the entire purpose of the vaccination process, which the Federal Government of Nigeria and the entire community have committed enormous resources to.”
Impelling an immediate investigation, CHRICED submitted: “It is pertinent to note that with such embarrassing attempts to corrupt the vaccination process, the credibility of Nigeria in the comity of nations, would be severely dented. If these acts of alleged official malfeasance are not investigated, and the perpetrators prosecuted, the credibility and acceptance of Nigerian vaccination cards on the global stage would be seriously affected.”
The group continued: “We call on the NPHCDA to immediately cause a detailed investigation of these allegations, with a view to holding any culpable official or person offering inducement to them accountable. We are of the firm view that those who are found wanting with respect to these infractions should be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.”