UBA, Dangote, Jack Ma, and others donating to help Nigeria tackle COVID-19

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to increase in Nigeria, a lot of individuals and organizations are stepping up to offer assistance in the fight against the pandemic. With people living under restrictions as schools, public service, businesses, and flights are being shut down, there's growing uncertainty on what will happen next.

But some people within and outside the country are rising to the occasion to make things easier by donating both money and medical supplies to help Nigeria.

Jack Ma

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma offered assistance to Nigeria through a continent-wide donation of medical supplies and COVID-19 test kits. Among a total of 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields Ma donated to all 54 countries in Africa, Nigeria received 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields.

Aliko Dangote

A few days after the first case of Coronavirus was reported in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote pledged the sum of N200 million to support efforts by the government towards curbing the spread of the virus through the Aliko Dangote Foundation. The money was meant for building health facilities, case management and training of health workers.

But as more people started donating huge sums following the rising emergency of COVID-19, Dangote made an additional N2 billion donation, making him the highest individual donor in the country. He also partnered with Access Bank to create a coalition of private-sector organizations that are building isolation centres and providing support to the government.

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB)

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) on Tuesday, March 24, announced that it has partnered with the Lagos State Government in setting up a 100-bed Intensive Care Centre at Onikan to assist in handling COVID-19 cases. The bank CEO, Segun Agbaje said in a statement that "the centre will be fully equipped with all the necessary equipment including respirators and personnel to treat and care for those that may become affected".

Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing

Nigerian auto manufacturer, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM) offered on Monday, March 23, to convert its assembly lines into the production of critical medical equipment like ventilators which may be in short supply as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is currently seeking a N4 billion loan from the government to start producing.

UBA Group

But the biggest donation so far has been from the UBA Group who donated N5 billion ($14 million) for COVID-19 relief support across Africa. N1 billion of the fund is being released to Lagos; N500 million to Abuja; N1 billion to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria; N1.5 billion to UBA's presence countries in Africa; and N1 billion for equipping medical centres and providing medical supplies.

Access Bank (CACOVID)

Access Bank, on the other hand, partnered with Aliko Dangote Foundation to create the Coalition Against COVID-19, codenamed CACOVID. The coalition which is different from Danogote's earlier donation is erecting five equipped 1,000-bed medical tents in Lagos, to serve as testing, isolation and treatment facilities for the COVID-19 cases. It is equally spearheading efforts by the private sector to assist the government in the fight against the pandemic.

There has also been an outpouring of support and donations from many others including the following:

  1. Zenith Bank – N1 billion 
  2. NNPC – N11 billion
  3. Abdulsamad Rabiu, BUA Group founder donated N1 billion trough BUA Foundation.
  4. Femi Otedola, former Forte Oil Chairman – N1 billion.
  5. Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, UBA Group – N1 billion, aside from the N5 billion donated by UBA Group.
  6. Herbert O. Wigwe, Access Bank CEO – 1Billion Naira personal donation alongside the N1 billion donation made by Access Bank.
  7. Jim Ovia, Zenith Bank Chairman  – N1 billion, outside the N1 billion donation made by Zenith Bank.
  8. Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil – N1 billion
  9. Atiku Abubakar, former Nigerian Vice President – 50million Naira
  10. Oba Otudeko, Chairman, FBN Holdings Plc – N1 billion
  11. Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN – N2 billion
  12. Multichoice Nigeria, owners of DStv and GOtv – N1.2 billion

Other contributors include Standard Chartered, Rand Merchant Bank, Heritage Bank, Polaris Bank, Takagro Chemicals Limited and many others.

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