Health, it is said, is wealth. There is a strong correlation between health and housing. Both have chicken and egg relationship, meaning that whenever there is crisis that threatens health, as it is now with Coronavirus, housing and its suppliers must show care and concern. And that, exactly, is what many of them have been doing in varying degrees in the last couple of months.
When President Muhammadu Buhari ordered total lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, beginning from Monday, March 30, 2020 as part of efforts to control the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the hearts of many individuals, especially in Lagos, were jolted.
The reason was simple. Lagos is a city where approximately 6 million out of its 20 million population are in the informal sector, earning daily wages. These include the hairdressers, petty traders, vulcanizers, printers, welders, bakers, hawkers, transporters and other artisans. Besides, it is estimated that 1.7 million of the city’s population live in poverty.
Well aware of the implication of the lockdown order on these residents, corporates and other organisations joined efforts to combat the disease. While some embarked on aggressive public enlightenment on how to keep safe and avoid contracting the disease, others provided palliatives, in terms of food materials, to assist the residents to cope with the presidential order.
One of such companies was Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited, a leading real estate company, which provided both public sensitisation and palliatives. As an organisation alive to its moral and ethical obligations to its immediate community, the company embarked on a public sensitisation and awareness campaign on COVID-19 in Shangisha and its environs.
The staff of the company educated people on personal hygiene, social distancing, and other measures to avoid contracting the virus. They emphasised the need to maintain good personal hygiene, avoid touching their faces and to wash their hands regularly with soap.
The company also advised them to comply with all laws set out by the federal and state governments to curb the spread of COVID-19. A healthcare kit containing sanitisers and medicated soap, among others, were distributed to people by the company.
To further mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on homes in the neighbourhood, the company shared foodstuff to well over 200 households.
Representatives of the company also visited the palace of the Oba of Shangisha, Oba Jamiu Adetola Ajibola Lawal and left food items for his household, meaning that nobody was left out of the palliative, as even security guards in some premises got food items.
“This is a thoughtful gesture, and we express our gratitude to Propertymart. They could have chosen to go elsewhere, but they decided that their immediate community should benefit first. God will continue to prosper the company,” said one of the beneficiaries.
Abimbola Arasi, Propertymart’s Business Head, explained that the gesture was a continuation of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. He explained further that the company which has delivered over 6,000 housing units and serviced plots to families and individuals in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, Abuja, couldn’t just sit back and failed to provide relief to people.
“Shangisha and environs are our immediate community. Though no one expected the pandemic, we just can’t be unfeeling while people struggle to make ends meet as a result of the disruptions this crisis has caused in their daily lives and businesses,” he said.
Arasi also explained that Propertymart began its response to the health crisis with sensitisation campaign, educating people about the deadly nature of the virus and how to avoid contracting it.
“You know, some people assumed it was a hoax, and we needed to let them know it was real and dangerous. That was why we embarked on the enlightenment campaign before the food relief.
“Upon the realisation that people might be running out of food items in their houses, we also decided to intervene in that area. We are happy that the lockdown is being gradually relaxed. This will enable people that have exhausted their stock to restock,” he said.
Arasi added that even after the pandemic is defeated, Propertymart will not shirk its responsibilities of assisting its immediate community and others that might need help.