The total contribution to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise funds to combat the pandemic stood at N19.6 billion as at Friday, a statement by the apex bank has said.
This is just as data released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed an upswing in the number of confirmed cases, which rose to 232 as more people tested positive to the pandemic. The disease broke in Nigeria on February 27.
Meanwhile, the federal government has also rolled out more measures to deal with COVID-19 and cushion the effects of the pandemic on the populace even as it issued the implementation guidelines for the lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as Lagos and Ogun States.
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval, the federal government will also release 70,000 metric tonnes of grains from the national reserves for distribution to the poor and the vulnerable to cushion the effect of the lockdown on the people.
The list of contributors to the COVID-19 fund, according to a statement issued on behalf of the coalition by Isaac Okorafor, director, corporate communications, CBN, showed that CACOVID, which was inaugurated last Thursday, has so far attracted contributions into the relief fund from 37 individuals and private organisations.
The objective of CACOVID is to mobilise private sector thought leadership and private sector resources; increase general public awareness, education, and buy-in; and provide direct support to private and public healthcare ability to respond to the crisis as well as support the federal government’s efforts.
A breakdown of the contributions showed that the CBN and President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote donated N2 billion each into the fund while Abdul Samad Rabiu (Bua Sugar Refinery); Segun Agbaje (GTBank); Tony Elumelu (United Bank for Africa); Oba Otudeko (First Bank); Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank); Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank); and Femi Otedola of Amperion Power Distribution, donated N1 billion each.
Other donors included Pacific Holding Ltd, Union Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Citi Bank Nigeria Ltd, FCMB, Fidelity Bank, Ecobank Nigeria, African Steel Mills and Multichoice Nigeria Limited.