Following the recent relaxation of the Coronavirus pandemic safety measures by the Nigerian government, this reporter was on the lookout for vaccination centres on the streets of Lagos, to, at least, know the status of the centres and what has become of them should there be another wave or new infection outbreaks.
But apart from seeing poorly managed facilities, the reporter also encountered brisk businesses by unscrupulous officials who have been feeding fat from the pandemic that once put the whole world on its toes.
One of such corrupt officials is Solomon Oriere, a male nurse attached to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency’s (NPHCDA) accredited vaccination centre located in the premises of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.
It is not known whether he is employed by LASUTH or the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (LSPHCB). But as he is popularly called at the health facility, Mr Solomon is a go-to man for anyone in need of either COVID-19 test results or vaccination cards.
“You do not need to come here, all that I need from anyone in need of result or card is just the money paid into my account, and they will be provided,” Mr Solomon boasted, adding that, “In fact, we use courier services to deliver to those outside the state without seeing them.”
He also offered a 12.5 per cent discount for referrals on testing, saying the reporter could pocket N5,000 on each person recommended.
“For either the card or test result, just send me name, phone number, date of birth, email address and home address of whoever may need it and I will backdate it because, normally if you want to take it, it takes like eight months, for the first dose, second dose and booster doses.
“Before you can take booster alone, it takes six months, the first and second takes a month plus each, that is about seven and eight months,” he added.