The Resource Center for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has drawn the attention of the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) over the sale of Covid-19 vaccination cards to individuals for N5000, without taking a jab of the vaccine.
‘’We write to draw your attention to reports from credible media platforms detailing how some unscrupulous, and unpatriotic officials of the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) have been engaging in the corrupt and utterly reprehensible practice of collecting N5000 to issue COVID-19 vaccination cards, without the collectors taking the vaccines.
“According to one of such reports by the Media West Africa Foundation, several vaccine sceptics who are objecting to taking the vaccines but need the cards for the purpose of travelling are being made to pay N5000 for the vaccination card, without taking the vaccine.” CHRICED said.
CHRICED further stated that “The serious infractions which have been detailed in these investigative reports are capable of undermining the entire purpose of the vaccination process, to which the Federal Government of Nigeria and the entire community has committed enormous resources.”
CHRICED is also worried that these sharp practices, reprehensible and unbridled acts of petty corruption, if not checked and nipped in the bud, would undermine the valiant national and global efforts being put into the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria and around the world.
It is equally pertinent to note that with such embarrassing attempts to corrupt the vaccination process, the credibility of Nigeria in the comity of nations, would be severely dented. If these acts of alleged official malfeasance are not investigated, and the perpetrators prosecuted, the credibility and acceptance of Nigerian vaccination cards on the global stage would be seriously affected.
Beyond the reactive responses, CHRICED also wants the NPHCDA to put in place proactive measures to address the very serious threats posed by officials who would want to circumvent due process and abuse their positions for personal benefits.
CHRICED similarly believes that a robust monitoring mechanism involving critical stakeholders in civil society and the media should be put in place to ensure transparency, accountability, and deterrence against acts of corruption. If this is done, officials on the field would come to terms with the fact that they are being closely watched and as such would be less willing to engage in condemnable acts, which undermine the very essence of the ongoing vaccination process.