he National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has warned against COVID-19 vaccination card racketeering, saying it is a criminal offence.
According to the government, anyone caught with COVID-19 vaccination card without the person having taken the jab will be prosecuted.
Executive secretary of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, gave the warning yesterday during the agency’s weekly briefing on COVID -19 vaccination rollout, in Abuja.
He said “With the increase in COVID-19 vaccination mandates globally, it has come to the notice of the NPHCDA and the Federal Ministry of Health that attempts are being made by unscrupulous persons to procure the COVID-19 vaccination cards, without receiving the COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are showing clearly that there is zero tolerance for this kind of activities, the DSS and the ICPC are involved and once the indiviiduals who are involved in this vaccination racketeering are charged to court, the public service rules will follow and that can lead to potential suspension or firing of the health workers involved.
“But beyond the health workers, those individuals who are also promoting or trying to access cards illegally will also be prosecuted. Those who want to sell and those who want to buy will jointly be prosecuted and we are taking this seriously because the activities of these few individuals can bring to disrepute the integrity of the whole vaccination process in Nigeria.”
Shuaib said it is the responsibility of every Nigerian to report anybody involved in this dubious act, saying it is not smart, it is not fast to try to procure vaccination cards when you have not been vaccinated, it is criminal, dubious and should be discouraged in its entirety.
He explained that the agency has also established a taskforce that will go with the collaboration that exists with the sub-national level to randomly investigate potential areas where this might be happening so that even before it happens, people will be apprehended and prosecuted.
On the UK Government travel ban, Faisal said “We have had preliminary discussions with officials of the UK Government. Without prejudice to the information yet to be released, we have been assured that Nigeria will maintain the status quo. That is to say Nigeria will not be on the red list.”