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COVID-19: FG partners private sector led by Aliko Dangote

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THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plan by the Bankers’ Committee in partnership with the private sector-led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank to form the Nigerian private sector coalition against COVID-19.

According to the apex bank, it is set to engage the stakeholders in the private sector on how to provide support to the federal government in procuring equipment and materials to combat the menace of novel coronavirus in Nigeria.

This coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in Nigeria.

The CBN said in the press briefing that the rate at which the virus is spreading is unprecedented and it appears the world is fighting the most lethal adversary to date.

Federal Government has expressed the difficulty in fighting the coronavirus pandemic alone, hence the reason why the private sector is stepping in to support the government’s effort.

The objectives of the Coalition are to mobilize private sector thought leadership, mobilize private sector resources, increase general public awareness, education and buy-in, provide direct support to private and public healthcare’s ability to respond to the crisis and support government effort.

The coalition, according to CBN, has set up four major committees comprising of;

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Steering Committee to provide leadership and steer the coalition and committees in procuring all needed funding, equipment and materials for the battle against the pandemic.

The steering committee will be chaired by the Secretary to the government of the federation, Mr Boss Mustapha who currently chairs the federal government committee on Covid-19.

Funding Committee:

This committee will be responsible for the initial funding of the effort.

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 contributes at least one billion Naira to this effort.

More members are allowed as long as they are willing to contribute at least one billion Naira.

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Operational Committee:

This group is responsible for project management, logistics, communication and advocacy.

This comprises CBN Governor, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GT Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Ecobank, Fidelity Bank, Unity Bank, Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Technical Committee:

This 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 centres, etc.

Membership Comprised of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Federal Ministry of Health and select members of the operational and funding committee.

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The CBN also highlighted that it will be working with reputable institutions and consultants including the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr Akin Abayomi, Dr Christian Happi, Dr Phillip Onyebujo.

Information gathered so far has revealed that to procure all the needed equipment, material, and all infrastructure required to fight the pandemic, over N120b need to be raised.

An account will be set up at the CBN to receive both Naira and foreign currencies from donors.

The report showed that at the end of the process, the CBN shall use a reputable firm of accountants to render a full account of how the funds were utilized as well as account for the materials donated.

Worldometer a website that tracks live global data of novel coronavirus reported  that a total of 552,943 persons have been infected globally as at today, 81,340 in China, 80,589 from Italy, 85,762 from America and 64,059 persons from Spain.

It also revealed that South Africa has 927 infected persons while Nigeria number of the infected so far stands at 65.

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