A tweet by the Nigerian government responding to an offer of ventilators by South Africa-born billionaire Elon Musk has stirred conversations in the country, with some accusing the government of begging.
Mr Musk, who owns electric car manufacturer Tesla, tweeted that the company would ship their ventilators to hospitals worldwide free of charge.
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.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2020
In a tweet that was later deleted, the Nigerian finance ministry responded, tweeting that the government needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with coronavirus cases.
Not everyone was pleased with the approach.
This user pointed out a recently approved budget for renovating the country’s National Assembly as proof why they should not have asked:
A country that budgeted 37B for NASS renovation shouldn’t be asking Elon Musk for ventilators on social media.— Seyi 🐻 (@Seyi__) April 2, 2020
Another user mentioned the donations that have been made so far by corporate bodies to support the fight against the virus in Nigeria.
Nigeria went to drop account number under Elon Musk page for giveaway.— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🛂 (@DrOlufunmilayo) April 2, 2020
This is shameful.
After raising over 7billion in donations,
They are still looking for Tesla giveaway.
I just love this government.
Ijoba Sinzu money.
But the majority supports the government, with this user arguing that there is nothing wrong with asking since there is a global scarcity of ventilators.
The reality is there is absolutely not enough ventilators to go around. We see that in Italy, we saw that in China, we see it in France and other countries. If Elon Musk can help us, then why not?— Jubril Saleem (@partentpending) April 2, 2020
This user said these are extraordinary times:
I was prepared to jump on that Ministry of Finance handle “begging” Elon Musk for ventilators until I saw the Ukrainian embassy AND a former minister of health in Ukraine, “begging” as well.— Temisan Okomi (@temiokomi) April 2, 2020
Means we should all take a step back & observe before reacting…
Nigeria does not fall within Tesla’s delivery zone, which was a condition given by Mr Musk.
Africa’s most-populous nation currently has 163 active cases of coronavirus.