The Federal Government has apologised for openly begging American billionaire businessman, Elon Musk, for ventilators.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration came under fire for the undignified manner it went about requesting between 100 and 500 ventilators from the American billionaire.
Reacting, the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning on whose twitter account the plea was made, stated: “An unauthorised post was made on the verified twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.”
The Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said: “The fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down.”
He added: “We have made sure our internal processes are strengthened that such does not happen again. The error is highly regrettable.”
The ministry had twitted: “Dear @elonmusk @Tesla, Federal Government of Nigeria needs the support of 100-500 ventilators to assist with #COVID-19 cases arising every day in Nigeria.”
In an outpour of emotions, the convener of Concerned Nigerians wrote: “Ventilator is around $10,000 =N3.5 million. Five hundred ventilators that the corrupt government is begging Elon Musk for will just be N1.7 billion. They lied that they shared N5 billion to their so-called poor people just yesterday.
“Hopeless and heartless government.”
On his part, political commentator, Demola Olarewaju, said: It is an embarrassment. There are Nigerians that can contact American billionaire, Elon Musk and procure ventilators for Nigeria, armed only with an official letterhead from the Federal Government.”
Meanwhile, the government has feared for Nigerians returning to the country through land borders, stating that they stand a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus due to their long confinement especially when transiting in a crowded bus or car.
It said with 71 per cent of the over 6,000 or more contacts detected so far, the number of confirmed cases could rise dramatically.
Speaking at the press conference convened by the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus yesterday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, observed that contact tracing would be intensified, advising the citizenry to remain in their locations, postpone non-essential travels and observe the necessary directives.