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CACOVID-19 steps up private sector mobilisation against pandemic

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A man walks between rows of beds inside the male section at a COVID-19 coronavirus isolation centre at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, Nigeria, on April 7, 2020. The centre is being built with donations from Kano-born Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian businessman and philanthropist and Africa’s richest man. AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP

The private sector-led Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID-19) has stepped up its complementary efforts towards freeing the nation from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the devastating impact of the pandemic and the limited resources available to the government to tackle the health crisis, the private sector in the Nigeria decided to form the CACOVID-19 to assist the government to fight the virus.

The body, which is led by Aliko Dangote, through the Aliko Dangote Foundation(ADF) and Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank, is also backed by Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) among others.

The mission is to mobilise private sector leadership and resources to support health facilities to respond to the crisis and also to use their reach to increase awareness through the country about the pandemic.

Speaking on the coalition and its activities, the Chief Executive Officer of ADF, Zouera Youssoufou, said it is the brainchild of Dangote and Wigwe who had started their separate initiatives to fight the virus but decided to involve more corporate bodies and individuals who are willing to ensure the pandemic is stamped out of the country.

Youssoufou said the past weeks, the coalition has been working on how to better support the government in many areas.
Specifically, she said the group is currently working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) on building of isolation centres.

She added that CACOVID-19 has equally be working with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) of the federal government to ensure that the government is supported to fight the Covid-19.

She said various committees have been set up for better synergy and operations in order to ensure that better results are achieved. Youssoufou, said PWC is offering the coalition project management expertise while KPMG is providing audit services to ensure transparent execution of the project and judicious use of the funds being pooled together by CACOVID-19.

She said apart from helping to build isolation centres across the country the coalition will also assist in the training of medical personnel for speedy in are of testing and other actions, assuring that Nigerians would be getting regular update on coalition’s activities.

Also speaking, Amaechi Okobi of Access Bank noted that Nigeria is very lucky not have seen what happened in China, Italy, United States and other places. According him, it is now that the country has to work and ensure the necessary efforts are made to prevent the situation from worsening, hence the CACOVID-19 is supporting the federal government to achieve this.

“We should help ourselves as quickly as possible and be prepared and ready and let everybody to know that it is real. It involves everybody and it is a fight of our lives. So we must spread the news and tell people what to do and what not to do in the fight against this virus. The money is important and no other effort is too small to help fight this fight,” Okobi said.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the bankers’ committee and the private sector, led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank, recently announced the formation of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition against COVID-19.
In a statement by the CBN, the coalition was created due to the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria

Members of the group include: the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola.

Already, the coalition has set up four major groups comprising of steering, funding, operational and technical committee to oversee the leadership, funding, project management and data collection for the group.

The steering committee will be chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who currently chairs the Federal Government Committee on Covid-19.


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