A former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, on Wednesday has said the Federal Government should not expend N400 billion on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccine, insisting it makes more sense to divert the funds to tackling insecurity.
Bafarawa said insecurity including banditry and kidnapping is taking more lives than COVID-19 and government should have thought about investing more in security.
“Why can’t we divert this money for security? I’m saying this because the insecurity is Nigeria’s Coronavirus. We don’t have much COVID-19 in Nigeria. It is my advice though that the Federal Government should pay even more attention to the issue of insecurity in the country and the North in particular, instead of emphasizing and spending huge sum of money on Coronavirus,” Bafarawa said.
Bafarawa said the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 must also show transparency asking it to give Nigerians the breakdown of how it spent N3.5 billion.
He said, “Like any other country across the globe, Nigeria, sometime in March 2020, quickly put in place a committee known as Presidential Task Force (on COVID–19) headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha. From then on the PTF has been doing what it is supposed to be doing based on the terms of reference the government has mandated it to work on.
“The committee is supposed to order for basic health measures bordering on hygiene, washing of hands, wearing of face masks, social distancing, closure of schools including tertiary institutions, airports and host of other measures.
“Indeed the task force still deals mainly with such measures. But come to think of it! Within the period under review, which is about nine months period now, not even up to one year, a whopping sum of N3.5 billion is said to have been spent. This is without funding for research or other related efforts on drugs purchase or drug research findings for their manufacture.
“We need to know; Nigerians need to know how this N3.5 billion was spent not just to hear figures. We need to have a breakdown, they should be transparent and tell the public what they have done,” Bafarawa concluded.