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‘We regret our action’ — finance ministry deletes tweet asking Elon Musk for ventilators

‘We regret our action’ — finance ministry deletes tweet asking Elon Musk for ventilators
April 02
16:00 2020

The ministry of finance, budget and national planning has deleted a Twitter post where it asked Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, for free ventilators.

Ventilator machines or respirators typically take over one’s breathing process when diseases (like COVID-19) cause the lungs to fail and fall short in breathing which is required to keep a patient alive as the immune system tries to fight off the infection.

In the tweet posted on Thursday, the ministry asked Musk to send across ventilators to Nigeria in response to a message by the US billionaire.

“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,” he tweeted.

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Responding to the tweet, the finance ministry wrote: “Dear @elonmusk @Tesla Federal Government of Nigeria needs support with 100-500 ventilators to assist with #Covid19 cases arising every day in Nigeria”.

This had generated different reactions from Nigerians, with many accusing the ministry of not being professional.

But in a statement, Yunusa Abdullahi, special adviser, media and communications to Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, said the action is regrettable.

He said the tweet has been deleted, adding that it was done without authority.

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“An unauthorised post was made on the verified Twitter handle of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. The fact of the post is regrettable because of which it is brought down,” the statement read.

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

Meanwhile, Bashir Ahmad, personal assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari, had made a similar plea in response to Musk’s tweet.

“Hello Elon, I woke up to this your tweet all over the timeline, in this period of worldwide emergency getting ventilators is pretty hard no matter how much money you get, and that’s understandable! Nigeria, my dear country is in need. Kindly send 100s here, we really need them, thanks!” it read.

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Nigeria has recorded 174 coronavirus cases.

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While nine persons have recovered, two people have died from the disease.

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