Nigeria: Multichoice Donates N250 Million, Test Kits, Others to Fight COVID-19

The managers of DStv and GOtv, Multichoice Nigeria, has announced a donation of N200 million and N50 million to federal and Lagos State governments respectively to support efforts in ameliorating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.

Concerned that the availability of test kits and supplies for medical personnel has become a challenge in fighting the pandemic, the company also said it would be donating 10,000 certified test kits to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Also added to the list of donations is N550 million worth of inventory to public service announcement on COVID-19 prevention tips in English, Pidgin, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa languages, highlighting the CDC's COVID-19 helplines and PSAs on more than 10 channels across DStv and GOtv.

This was contained in a statement signed by the company's CEO, Jude Ugbe, Wednesday afternoon.

"The leading entertainment and media company's contribution in the fight against COVID-19 includes cash support of N200 million and N50 million to the Federal and Lagos State Governments respectively, the donation of 10,000 certified test kits to the NCDC.

"We have committed N550 million worth of Inventory to public service announcements in our indigenous languages in addition to English and Pidgin to ensure that every Nigerian understands how to prevent COVID-19 or call for help through the NCDC helplines," Mr Ugbe was quoted saying.

"Public Service Announcement COVID-19 prevention tips in English, Pidgin, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa languages as well as approved inventory worth over N550m highlighting the CDC's COVID-19 Helplines and PSAs on more than 10 channels across DStv and GOtv," the statement added.

The company said the impact of the outbreak has hampered business activities, especially those of the creative industry.

Intervention

It also said it "would cover the remuneration for engaged creative industry professionals whose productions have been disrupted as a result of the pandemic, with a sum of up to N500 million".

"The outbreak has also had a direct impact on individual businesses and general economic activities. Nigeria's creative industry has been particularly affected, with ongoing productions suspended in response to government's advisory on public gatherings and social distancing.

"There is the creative industry salary payment of up to N400 million will offer a much needed financial reprieve for producers, actors, and technical talent currently contracted to MultiChoice Nigeria, whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic."

The intervention, the company said, is in line with its values as a responsible corporate organisation and leader in the media and creative sector.

It said this is aimed at "supporting the authorities in fighting the pandemic and reducing its attendant impact on Nigeria's national economy."

Private sector donation

Multichoice Nigeria joins other private companies such as First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the Guaranty Trust Bank in contributing toward the joint effort by the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

Members of the coalition include Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Jim Ovia. They had earlier announced their contributions to the fight.

The group is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers' Committee.

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