By Rasheed Sobowale
Nigerians on Thursday expressed divided opinion as the Ministry of Finance through its Twitter handle solicits ventilators from Tesla, an American electric vehicle and clean energy company.
The co-founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, at 4:27 PM on Mar 31, 2020, posted on his Twitter page “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.”
Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance via its handle (@FinMinNigeria) replied Elon Musk’s post: “Dear @elonmusk @Tesla Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with #Covid19 cases arising every day in Nigeria.”
The tweet, however, has since been deleted by the Ministry.
“Ahh, you people have bullied Ministry of finance they deleted their tweet” -raeni @remestardust
– Ministry of Finance like Nigerians dropping account number for giveaway –
Some Nigerians described the Ministry of Finance to have behaved similitude to Twitter users dropping their account details for “giveaway”.
“Just like some Nigerians jumping to every tweet with account number, ministry of finance jump in that tweet without reading the requirement. And if we must beg there are better ways to do this thing. Nigerians have people in high places all over the world, we can use that” -Segun | Legal @SegunOladejo_
“Even the ministry of finance dey drop account number, so who them be ?” -Babatunde @zidalama
– Where are the donations and budgets? –
Some Nigerians attacking the Ministry of Finance demanded the use of the donations by prominent Nigerians and the yearly budget.
The Nigerian CBN had earlier reported that the “contributions to its COVID-19 relief fund hit N15bn“.
New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, according to a report by Independent UK claimed the price of a ventilator has risen from $25,000 (N9.2m) to $45,000 (N16.5m) due to high demand.
ALSO READ: Nigerians embarrassed as Ministry of Finance begs Elon Musk, Tesla for ventilators on Twitter
“We just hit the lowest low. This is as low as the bars could go. The disaster class dropped by the Ministry of Finance would not be unrivaled in years to come. With the billions of Naira that gets allocated to Health sector annually, we still beg? I’m ashamed to be Nigerian” -Keyboard Warrior @Ahmad_Khalifaa5
“Ministry of finance deleted the tweet shameful and corrupt government, Where are all the billions donated??” -BLESSEDSINNER @Yungscofield
“Even Ministry of Finance dey beg for Giveaway” -Omo Baba Ijebu @kayodeonakoya26
“Begging by Ministry of Finance is a big SLAP! Where are all the billions donated to them to fight this same thing they’re begging for? I get tired when I see youths who should be enlightened enough still dumbly supporting some of this government moves. It’s a shame.” -Maester Tekanomo @Tekanomo_
– Other countries are doing the same –
Other countries like Ukraine, Spain, among others are also making the same request.
Ukraine’s former minister of health, Ulana Suprun, also replied Elon Musk’s post pleading for some of the ventilators shipped to her country.
“My name is Ulana Suprun and I am the former minister of health of Ukraine. Ukraine is in dire need of ventilators. We have only 3500 in the ICUs and we have a population of 37million. Please help us!” She posted.
Ukrainian were quick to throw their weight behind her; likewise the Ukraine Embassy in the USA.
A Ukrainian health practitioner with the username, Anton_Gricunov, @AGricunov, supported Ulana request; “Mr. @elonmusk, I am an anesthetist from Mariupol, Ukraine. We have a large shortage of ventilation machines, and if you have the opportunity, please help us. Mrs. Ulyana is the person who can organize the distribution of aid throughout the country effectively.
Ukraine Embassy in USA posted: “Dear Elon, Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe with population nearly 40 mln citizens. The pandemic situation in Ukraine is approaching its peak, April is going to be the hardest. People in hospitals need ventilators. We are ready to cooperate! Dyakuyemo!”
Spanish Congressman, Juan Luis Steegmann Olmedillas (@jlsteeg) commended Musk and informed him Spanish government will be in touch to relay their need; “Dear @elonmusk, as congressman of the Spanish Parliament, I hugely appreciate your marvelous offer, which has been conveyed by my colleague @sanchezdelreal. We’ll launch initiatives across all the strata of the Administration to answer quickly to your generosity.”
Also, Argentine Minister of Economy, Roberto Dib Ashur (@rdibashur), requested some for his province; “Dejar Mr Musk. My name is Roberto Dib Ashur. I am the Minister of Economy of Salta Province. In the north of Argentina. I would be interested in receving ventilators for my province. Can you provide me please contact information for further details? Thanks much.”
Some Nigerians supported the Ministry of Finance while justifying their reason with the fact that other countries are doing same.
“Now that the ministry of Finance has deleted that tweet and hopefully followed the appropriate channel in requesting for those ventilators, how do you feel defending it because “other countries are doing it too”?” -Deji @xDeji
A Nigerian doctor with username Lidocaine (@trending_medic) while requesting for the ventilator took some swipes at the Federal Government; “Hi @elonmusk I’m a medical doctor and a Nigerian living in Nigeria. We need these ventilators as our government is not only wicked and wasteful but also SHAMELESS. This may just be our last hope in combating the effects of this virus. Thank you!”