N79 Billion And Counting – A breakdown of Some Of The Biggest Corporate Donors In The Fight Against COVID-19

It's now 62 days since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Nigeria. As of April 30, 2020, there have now been over 1932 positive cases with 319 recoveries and 58 deaths. Globally the figures make for worse reading, with 3.2 million confirmed cases and 221,000 deaths.

However, unlike places like Canada and the United States where Governments are bailing out companies and cushioning the effects of job losses on citizens, it is the private sector that has risen to the occasion in Nigeria.

Cumulatively, Nigeria's private sector has now invested over N79 billion Naira in fighting the virus. Most of these are in the form of cash and material support.

The biggest donors include MTN, Dangote Group, BUA Sugar refinery and UBA. Others are Nigerian Breweries, Coca-Cola and a host of others.

Neusroom stats takes a look at some organisations spread across ICT, media, entertainment, and the FMCG sector.

MTN came to the table with a cash donation of N 1 billion as well as a 100 MB daily incentive to its subscribers when they visit some select websites that provide accurate information on the spread of the virus. All of these and more, in a bid to encourage users to source for authentic information from trusted sites.

Those who know, say the company could invest even more as it continues to support its over 60 million customers, State Governments, the Federal Government and other stakeholder groups.

Recently Coca-Cola and its Nigerian bottling partner, NBC, announced the donation of its beverages, including Eva table water, to Isolation and Treatment Centres across the country. Both companies also promised to continue to donate these products through the duration of this crisis. Coca-Cola has also committed to a grant for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), This is set to impact over 1.3 million people in Nigeria and other countries.

Other FMCG players that have come to the fore include Nigerian Breweries PLC, who contributed cash and items worth N600 million to the cause. The beverage conglomerate who are the makers of some of the biggest beer and malt drinks in the country have also put out various PSA encouraging consumers to heed to the government's safety directives.

On the entertainment side of things, one of the leading players, Multichoice also got in on the action with an initial donation of N200 million and N50 million to Federal and Lagos State Governments respectively. Now the total cost for Multichoice initiatives targeted at combating the virus has soared over the N1 billion mark.

Another media and entertainment juggernaut, VIACOM, has cleverly used its platform to raise awareness for the cause, while also launching a $ 100 million relief fund to support cast and crew affected by production shutdown.

Multinational consumer goods company, Reckitt Benkiser, have been one of the most vocal of all private-sector corporations, as the Dettol PSA on health tips have quickly become the go-to piece of content for people looking to learn how to protect themselves from the virus. The company has also backed all the talking, with some smart initiatives which include educating over 50,000 school children on proper hygiene and supplying disinfectants to over 500,000 homes.

All of these donations have helped in the fight against COVID-19. However, the biggest take away from these noble gestures is a sense of unity in the battle against a real threat. Companies you may have seen as competing rivals are now putting aside their differences and rallying together to combat this pandemic.

As Nigerians struggle to adjust to these uncertain times, a silver lining to these very dark clouds has been the responses by some of the country's biggest organisations.


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