A country that budgeted 37bn for NASS renovation shouldn’t be begging – Nigerians react as FG begs Elon Musk for ventilators
The federal government on Thursday, April 2, drew to itself a whirlpool of criticism after taking to a micro-blogging platform, Twitter, to beg the founder of Tesla Inc, an electronic company, for ventilators.
Elon Musk, a South African-American billionaire who is the founder of Tesla, had earlier tweeted on Tuesday, April 31, that there are FDA-approved ventilators to be distributed free for countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free.
“Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please me or @Tesla know,” Musk tweeted.
Responding to the tweet, the federal government through the official handle of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning begged Musk for ventilators, adding that the country is in need of about 100-150 of the ventilation-producing devices.
“Dear @elonmusk @Tesla Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with #Covid19 cases arising every day in Nigeria,” the ministry pleaded.
The finance ministry’s controversial response to the billionaire’s tweet, however, sparked outrage on the microblogging platform with many Nigerians calling out the government for gross irresponsibility.
A check by Legit.ng shows that the ministry’s response has been pulled down following criticism from Nigerians.
A social media user, Bakare, wrote: “If Elon Musk has ventilators to give to Nigeria, for the sake of the common people, I hope they give us. However, you have to understand the criticism. A country that can afford to pay its Senators $450,000 per year in allowances should not be begging for ventilators on Twitter.”
A Cameroonian tech entrepreneur, Rebecca Enonchong, wrote: “A whole Nigeria Ministry of Finance. Nigeria. Big Nigeria. Economic giant of Africa, begging @elonmusk for ventilators on Twitter.
“Not dragging Nigeria for asking by the way. Elon Musk was addressing hospitals. Had this request come from the medical community or @NCDCgov, I for one wouldn’t have said anything. But coming from Ministry of Finance of Africa’s largest economy… it’s embarrassing.”
Another user, Seyi submitted: “A country that budgeted 37B for NASS renovation shouldn’t be asking Elon Musk for ventilators on social media.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the battle against Covid-19 hits a fast lane as the federal government has begun the disinfection of public places in Abuja.
The operation is being carried out by the Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Federal Fire Service.
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