COVID-19: We regret begging US billionaire for ventilators - FG

COVID-19: We regret begging US billionaire for ventilators - FG

- The federal government has expressed regret for requesting ventilators from a US business tycoon, Elon Musk

- The Nigerian government said that the request was actually unauthorised and has been brought down

- The disclaimer was made by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning

The request by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning for ventilators from a United States’ billionaire, Elon Musk, has been withdrawn by the federal government.

The request for the ventilators which are used for the coronavirus patients in Nigeria was made earlier on Thursday, April 2, The Nation reports.

However, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, the special adviser to the minister, on media and communications, said that the request which came in form of a tweet was unauthorised and as such has been brought down.

Regretting the development, Abdullahi said: “The fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down.

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"We have made sure our internal processes are strengthened that such doesn’t happen again. The error is highly regrettable.”

Earlier, reported that 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.

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.

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"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.

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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 was 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 showed that the ministry's response had been pulled down following criticism from Nigerians. ( -> Same great journalism, upgraded for better service!

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