The Federal Government has denied reports that the Republic of Madagascar asked Nigeria to pay 170,000 Euros (N78.2m) for the COVID-19 herbal remedy sent to the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic, Boss Mustapha denied knowledge of the invoice.
An earlier report had claimed TMadagascar sent an invoice to Nigeria as the drug is not to be made available for free.
A reportedly said;
“For our consignments in Guinea Bissau, Madagascar has asked Nigeria to pay over €170,000. We have received the invoice because the African country has made us to realise that the drugs are not being given out free.
“We are being asked to pay for the drugs yet to be validated. Since the AU directed the supply of the drugs to African countries, we may have no choice than to pay for it.
This payment may, however, be one-off because mass importation of the drugs from Madagascar will not be cost effective. By the time we take into account the cost of freight, the amount will be too high.”
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, in his reaction to the claim said same mixture was taken to other African countries without an invoice.
According to him, when he took delivery of the sealed herbal mixture, he was not handed an invoice, which would have indicated if there was a cost. He said;
“In terms of the question of whether it comes with a cost. It was handed to me without an invoice so I assume it doesn’t come with a cost.
“That’s my assumption. For that, I think the Madagascar issue and the Chinese issue should be laid to rest.
“I think we have said repeatedly hear that we did not ask for the Madagascar consignment, it was given by the government of Madagascar to African countries as their contribution to wanting to find solution to the COVID-19 pandemic and we have repeatedly said our consignment and those of West African countries, was dropped off at Guinea Bissau and that we were making arrangements to go and airlift it.
“As God would have it, the President of Guinea Bissau decided to visit our President last Saturday and when he was coming, he came with our consignment of five cartons and those five cartons were delivered to me yesterday in the evening, sealed, without a bottle out of it.
“I’m going to engage the Minister of Health who has the responsibility of validation, through his institutions that are chartered by law to do that.
“The President was upfront with that even when he took delivery of it from the President of Guinea Bissau.
“He said it quite clear of what we are going to do with the consignment would be guided by science, under the processes of validation, we’ll now know where to go.”
Source: News update