American firms, federal government partner on tackling pandemic
To intensify efforts at tackling the global pandemic, American Business Council, together with its members, are implementing various measures aimed at supporting the Nigerian Government in its policy and awareness campaign during the on-going COVID-19 crisis.
“American Business Council consisting of American businesses are making adjustments for their employees and customers by enabling remote working and online learning to promote social distancing; implementing initiatives focusing on public sensitization, early detection and treatment and promoting hygiene standards.
“The Council also looks further to engaging the Federal and State Governments on ways the American Business Community can contribute to the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Nigerian Economy,” said the Dipo Faulkner, President of the American Business Council and Country General Manager IBM West Africa.
The Secretariat recently held an Economic update for business and political leaders with a focus on how leaders can plan and provide for the future as a result of COVID 19. Boston Consulting Group anchored this virtual meeting and the Council partnered with Abuja chamber of Commerce, Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce and the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance.
American Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, GE, Bristol Scientific, MasterCard, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Tolaram Group, Tropical General Investment, Mastercard and Google are ameliorating and supporting the Nigerian government as well as local enterprises in not only protecting businesses but also securing the livelihood of Nigerians.
Indeed, some of the measures include, Johnson and Johnson’s collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Trade association to see how they could provide some sort of assistance to the Federal Government; Procter and Gamble’s support to Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti State with some of its hygiene products as well as media campaign to promote handwashing; and Tropical General Investment’s support to Lagos, Ogun State Government as well as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs with some of its products.
Similarly, Kimberly Clark, and Tolaram Group supported the Lagos State Government with its products to support the needs of the isolation centres and is also finalizing plans to distribute free diapers to paediatric wards.
Bristol Scientific is involved in the government response by supporting designated testing labs/facilities and available to advise on how resources can be best spent particularly when it comes to PCR labs/tests.
Google continues to develop new resources to connect users to helpful information and resources. These include expansion of our COVID-19 SOS Alerts, and YouTube Information Panels, as well as developing a website with resources dedicated to COVID-19 education and prevention. This is in addition to the free use of their video conferencing app Meet for all G suite Customers at no cost until July 1, 2020.
Google is ramping up philanthropic efforts, committing to $50 million to the global COVID-19 response, matching up to $5 million in donations to the World Health Organization’s new COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and providing a $500,000 grant to researchers, epidemiologists and software developers working on HealthMap.
Mastercard has committed $25 million in seed funding to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a global initiative in collaboration with Wellcome and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to speed-up the response to the COVID-19 epidemic by identifying, assessing, developing, and scaling-up treatments. This will include accelerating and evaluating new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat patients with COVID-19 in the immediate term, and other viral pathogens in the longer-term.
GE Nigeria is increasing support across the states to ensure timely delivery, training, and maintenance of equipment for the vulnerable healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria in order to prevent the spread and save the lives of citizens that may be affected by the Pandemic. Globally, GE Healthcare and Ford collaborate to accelerate and scale ventilator production, supporting clinicians in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
IBM, on the other hand, signed an MoU with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy with over 280+ hours of free learning and 85+ courses on key emerging technologies like Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Nigerians are encouraged to sign up via www.Idna.digitalNigeria.gov.ng
The company is collaborating with the Ministry of Youths and Sports with free online learnings and opportunities for sportsmen and women as well as all youth.
Jumia is supporting the efforts of the American Business Council in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic by offering the full support of its logistics ecosystem in the distribution of the various donations by organisations who are members of the Council. This distribution support is among the many actions Jumia has taken to support the government, its consumers and employees in fighting the pandemic, and it will help to make certain that all the donations reach the designated individuals or groups across critical states.
The American Business Council is working with other AmChams in the African region and the US Chamber of Commerce to ameliorate the challenges created by the virus. Together with the US companies, the Council remains committed to collaborating with the Nigerian government at all levels to protect businesses and more importantly protect the lives and livelihood of Nigerians.
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