The federal government on Thursday, April 2, drew to itself a whirlpool of criticism after taking to the 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, March 31, that there are FDA-approved ventilators to be distributed free to 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 the 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, described the tweet by the finance ministry as embarrassing.
See more reactions below:
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 hit 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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