The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-led Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has spent over N16 billion on procuring essential medical resources to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria, the group said at the weekend.
The group has as at April 23 received over N27.1 billion donations from the CBN, commercial banks, other financial institutions, real sector operators, manufacturers, oil and gas operators, among others.
In a statement, the group announced its plans to provide palliatives in the form of food to vulnerable families across the country. The coalition said it would begin distributing food, which include rice, garri, beans, noodles, and more to reach at least 1.7 million families.
The intervention, which is positioned to aid the government in addressing hunger and other effects of the pandemic, will not hinder the coalition’s ongoing effort to contain the spread of the virus through the training of medical personnel, the establishment of isolation centres, procurement of medical kits, and so on.
One of the CACOVID Funding Committee Members and Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe explained the reason behind the food intervention programme.
He said: “While several measures are being taken to stop the spread, including lockdowns, restrictions, physical as well as social distancing, there remains the need to address the issue of hunger.
We need to cater to the feeding needs of the people if the preventive measures put in place are to be effective.”
According to Wigwe, CACOVID will be working with the 774 local government areas across the country where partners of the Coalition will be assigned to deliver the relief materials to targeted households.
“The food is all packaged as we are rolling out 10kg bags of rice, 5kg bags of garri, two cartons of noodles, three to five killiogrammes of sugar, one killiogramme bag of salt, and pasta per family.
Hence, what we are doing is to get food right to the people who are in dire need at this time,” he said. CACOVID continues to solicit the cooperation of capable institutions as it pursues its mandate of bringing an end to the pandemic in Nigeria.’’