The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee and in partnership with the private sector led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank have come together to form the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19.
The Coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria. “So far, the Federal Government has made giant strides in the fight but it is clear that the private sector needs to step in and support efforts already being made,” Godwin Emefiele said on Thursday in Lagos.
Consequently, the Coalition has set up four major committees comprising of: Steering Committee, funding committee, operational committee and technical committee.
The steering committee is to provide leadership and steer the coalition and committees in procuring all needed funding, equipment and materials for the battle against this pandemic.
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.
Funding Committee will be responsible for the initial funding of the effort and the membership comprises, the CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote, Herbert Wigwe, Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu, Segun Agbaje, Abdulsamad Rabiu and Femi Otedola.
Each member of the committee is to ensure that their institution contribute at least N1b to this effort. More members are allowed as long as they are willing to contribute at least N1b.
The operational Committee is responsible for project management, logistics, communication and advocacy. This comprise CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Unity Bank, Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Technical Committee is responsible for gathering data about the equipment and materials needed nationwide. They will also be responsible for intellectual leadership around testing issues, treatment protocols, isolation centers, etc. Membership Comprised of NCDC, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Federal Ministry of Health and select members of the operational and funding committee.
Information gathered so far has revealed that to procure all needed equipment, material, and all infrastructure needed to fight this pandemic, over N120b need to be raised, Emefiele said.
“The Bankers Committee and these important Stakeholders will be required to step up to support this endeavor. We are already engaging other important stakeholders in Nigeria and abroad, such as the NNPC and players in Oil industry”.
He said an account will be set up at the Central Bank of Nigeria to receive both Naira and foreign currency from our donors.
At the end of the process, he said the coalition shall use a reputable form of accountants to render full account of how the funds were utilized as well as account for the materials donated.
A total of 499,125 persons have been infected globally as at today, 81,285 in China, 74,386 from Italy, 73,386 from the USA and 56,197 persons from Spain.
“In Africa, South Africa has 927 infected persons. Although the number in Nigeria so far stands at 51, we are concerned that this number may rise exponentially in the next Two weeks”.