The Nigerian Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, begged US billionaire Elon Musk for ventilators to be used on confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the country, sparking reactions from Nigerians online.
Elon Musk, who is the founder and Chief Engineer, SpaceX, had tweeted on Thursday that his firm had extra ventilators that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
“We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. We will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients and not stored in a warehouse.”
In response, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning asked the billionaire to give the extra ventilators to Nigeria in a tweet.
“Dear @Elonmusk @Tesla, Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100 to 500 ventilators to assist with Covid-19 cases rising every day in Nigeria.” The government Twitter handle wrote.
This sparked vile reactions from Nigerians online. Some condemned the actions, saying the government could afford more ventilators if not for corruption.
The Nigerian government has since apologized for the tweet.
Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, Special Adviser, Media and Communications, to the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning said that “the fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down.”
He noted that they “have made sure our internal processes are strengthened that such doesn’t happen again. The error is highly regrettable.”