CHRICED Demands Probe into Alleged Sale of COVID-19 Vaccination Cards by NPHCDA Staff
The Resource Center for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED) has demanded an investigation into the alleged involvement of some officials of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in the collection of N5, 000 to issue COVID-19 vaccination cards to people who have not been vaccinated.
The executive director of the Centre, Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, made the demand in an open letter to the executive director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, asking for urgent investigation and action over the allegation.
Read the full letter below:
September 17, 2021
Dear Dr. Shuaib,
OPEN LETTER ON ALLEGED FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES, SPECIFICALLY WITH RESPECT TO SALE OF COVID-19 VACCINATION CARDS BY UNSCRUPULOUS NPHCDA OFFICIALS: CALL FOR URGENT INVESTIGATION AND ACTION
Resource Center for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) is a registered independent and nonpartisan, non-profit organization, with offices in Abuja and Kano. CHRICED is committed to a democratic Nigeria where participation, inclusion and transparency are guaranteed, and state and non-state actors actively collaborate towards accountable and responsive use of resources for the collective wellbeing of Nigerians. CHRICED uses action civics, advocacy and outreach to mobilize vulnerable and marginalized groups, including youth, women and people living with disabilities, to engage with governance processes, protect their rights and be responsible citizens.
As a frontline organization working to prevent the spread of COVID-19, 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.
To say the least, these allegations are disturbing. 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.
Also not forget that the sharp practices being perpetrated by these unscrupulous officials would negatively impact the NPHCDA core corporate goal of limiting the occurrence and impact of diseases using education, immunization and other proven interventions. Given the grave dangers posed by the illegal activities of your officials, CHRICED calls on the NPHDA to immediately cause a detailed investigation of these allegations, with a view to holding any culpable officials or persons offering inducement to them accountable. We are of the firm view that those who are found wanting with respect to these infractions should be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.
However, beyond the reactive responses, CHRICED calls on 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.
Do accept the highest assurances of our regards,
Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi, Executive Director.
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