A former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, on Wednesday faulted the N400bn demanded by the Presidential Task Force on COVID -19 to purchase vaccines for COVID-10, describing it as misplaced priority.
According to him, the money should be better used to tackle banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity in the country.
“Why can’t we divert this money for security? I’m saying this because insecurity is Nigeria’s coronavirus.
“It is my advice though that the Federal Government should pay more attention to the issue of insecurity in the country and the North in particular, instead of spending huge sum of money on coronavirus,” he said.
Bafarawa who spoke with journalists in Abuja, challenged the PTF to show give a breakdown of how N3.5bn earlier given it was spent.
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.
“But within the (COVID-19) period, which is about nine months, a whooping sum of N3.5bn 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.
“Nigerians need to know how this N3.5bn was spent; not just to hear figures. We need to have a breakdown.
“Look at the amount they are proposing to buy the drugs, almost 60 per cent of Nigerians don’t believe in this coronavirus and for the PTF to recommend N400bn, you have to sensitise the people on the vaccine.
“Supposing people refuse to take the vaccines, the N400bn becomes a waste. So, we have to sensitise people to agree that this coronavirus is real and the vaccines are real; let them be convinced.”