Written by Godfrey AKON

…CBN partners private sector

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has brought together a coalition of stakeholders in the private sector to drive efforts on the fight against COVID-19.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement, said the stakeholders would provide support to the Federal Government in procuring equipment and materials to combat the menace of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

Emefiele said CBN, on behalf of the Bankers’ Committee and in partnership with the private sector led by Aliko Dangote Foundation and Access Bank came together to form the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against Covid-19.

He said 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.

According to him, the coalition has set up four major committees comprising of the steering Committee which is to provide leadership and steer the coalition and committees in procuring all needed funding, equipment and materials for the battle against this pandemic.

He added that 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 comprise, 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.

“Operational Committee: 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 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,” he said.

Emefiele said the committee will work with reputable institutions and consultants including the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi, Dr Christian Happi, Dr. Phillip Onyebujo.

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

He added that “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.”

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