The recent drive by the Nigerian government to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for civil servants has been attributed to the lacklustre performance of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in the handling of the vaccination exercise across the country.
Sources in the agency told SaharaReporters that its Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, politicised the whole exercise at the detriment of getting Nigerians vaccinated.
They alleged Shuaib had not shown enough commitment to getting Nigerians vaccinated but was “interested in how he could make a kill from the COVID-19 vaccination programme.”
"It has been frustrating that the executive director has elected to play with the lives of Nigerians in such a brazen manner. The general public might not know that the figures bandied in the public domain are far from what is on the ground in reality. He went to the length in ensuring that individuals and groups with the required competence to ensure the validity of the vaccines and its deployment are sidelined and replaced with his cronies,” one of the sources said.
Another source alleged that the agency’s Executive Director saw the vaccination programme as an avenue to enrich his pocket.
“The executive director has constantly diverted funds meant for logistics to his cronies under different nomenclatures, and in most instances leaving vaccinators stranded, thereby altering the distribution chain and in most times before the vaccines reach their intended locations, there is a possibility that its potency might have been greatly reduced as a result of improper storage,” he said.
“If the government does not take urgent and proactive steps, it might just be that what is being administered to Nigerians might be ineffective vaccines and its consequent implication because, with the present realities on the ground in the agency with regards the administration, it is a doomed exercise.
"In our agency, everything is overinflated, and no one dares to question the executive director. The procurement and audit departments have been compromised by the executive who has ensured that his cronies are in strategic places to ensure that his biddings are carried out without any resistance."
“If the government is serious in its fight against corruption, it should turn the light on the NPHCDA, and the revelations that would come out would be mind-boggling. What is happening in the agency is nothing but a shame.”
Speaking with SaharaReporters, a public health expert decried the low vaccination exercise due to the ineptitude of the NPHCDA.
He stated that with how the agency is undertaking the vaccination exercise, Nigeria might never attain effective vaccination of Nigerians against COVID-19.
He added that the government erred fundamentally by domiciling the COVID 19 vaccination with the NPHCDA, forgetting to realise that this is a peculiar exercise and one not to be subjected to the routine bureaucracy in most government agencies.