Nigeria: COVID-19 Private Sector Relief Fund Increases to N19.4bn

U.S. dollars.
4 April 2020

The total contribution to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise funds to combat the pandemic is now N19.488 billion as at yesterday, up from the N15.325 billion reported on Wednesday.

This amount, however, excludes the N3.4 billion pledges by four individuals and organisations yet to be redeemed.

The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed this in a statement on behalf of CACOVID.

The list of contributors to the fund has increased to 47 individuals and organisations (excluding the four yet to redeem their pledges), higher than the 37 recorded on Wednesday.

The updated list showed that Takagro Chemicals Limited, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Ekeoma Ekeoma, Ahmadu Mahmoud, Jennifer Ramatu Etuh Foundation, ADG International Resources, and Prosharena Limited, were the latest contributors.

The objective of CACOVID is to mobilise private sector thought leadership and private sector resources; increase general public awareness, education, and buy-in; and provide direct support to private and public healthcare ability to respond to the crisis as well as support the federal government's efforts.

Okorafor noted that the coalition thanked the donors for hearkening to the clarion call championed by the CBN and the private sector.

He, however, urged more Nigerians and corporate bodies to key into the coalition with a view to supporting the fight against the pandemic, stressing that Nigeria could overcome the scourge with support from all.

CACOVID had on Monday, disclosed that work had started in earnest to provide and equip medical facilities in the six geopolitical zones.

The medical facilities included the creation of testing, isolation and treatment centres, as well as the provision of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and molecular testing labs.

A breakdown of this had shown that 1,000 beds were donated to Lagos; Kano (500 beds); Rivers (210 beds) Abuja (200 beds); Enugu (200 beds); and Borno (200 beds); and expect to be operational within 10 days.

"The next phase will see locations set up in Katsina, Ogun, Bayelsa, Anambra, Bauchi and Plateau to be ready within three weeks. The remaining states of the Federation will be set up in the last phase within the next five weeks," the group had started.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said CACOVID was targeting N120 billion for the acquisition of healthcare facilities and advocacy about the virus across the country, among others.

Emefiele had explained that four major committees have been set up which include the Steering Committee; the Funding Committee; Operational Committee and the Technical Committee.

"This coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria. The rate at which the virus is spreading is unprecedented and it appears we are fighting our most lethal adversary today.

"So far, the federal government has made strides in the fight, but, it is clear that the private sector needs to step in to support efforts being made," the CBN governor had said.

A breakdown of the earlier contributions to the fund showed that the CBN and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote donated N2 billion each into the fund while Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu (Bua Sugar Refinery); Segun Agbaje (GTBank); Tony Elumelu (United Bank for Africa); Chief Oba Otudeko (First Bank); Chief Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank); Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank); and Femi Otedola of Amperion Power Distribution, donated N1 billion each.

Other donors included Pacific Holding Ltd, Union Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Citi Bank Nigeria Ltd, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank Nigeria, African Steel Mills and Multichoice Nigeria Limited.

Other contributors include FSDH Merchant Bank, FBN Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, Coronation Merchant Bank, Sun Trust Bank, Providus Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Nova Merchant Bank, Polaris Bank, and Keystone Bank.

Also, Globus Bank, Titan Trust Bank, Takagro Chemicals Ltd, Ahmadu Mahmoud, and Handy Capital Ltd made up the list of those that have so far made contributions into the CACOVID relief fund domiciled at the CBN.

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