On 26 March 2020, it was announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through the bankers’ committee and the private sector had come together to form the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
This coalition was formed due to the urgent need to combat the unfolding and rising cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Other objectives of the coalition are to mobilise private sector thought leadership and resources, increase general public awareness, provide fully equipped healthcare facilities to respond to the crisis as well as support government initiatives.
This novel initiative has been roundly successful, as surprisingly, various institutions have donated resources supporting the common goal of ensuring we all “stay alive together”. The coalition has reportedly amassed over N21 billion in donations, and there remains optimism that this figure will increase in the coming days.
With over twenty member organizations, and counting, curious minds want to know how the Coalition come about? According to reports, CACOVID was the brainchild of Aliko Dangote, Founder and Chairman of Dangote Industries Ltd and Herbert Wigwe, the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc.
Following reports of the earliest COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, Dangote and Wigwe partnered with several other concerned citizens, private sector institutions and the committee of banks who made independent donations of N1billion each. These individuals and businesses sought to support the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) menace as it steadily spreads across the country.
These donations served as a jolt to other concerned citizens and corporate organizations, convincing them of the need to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
CACOVID recently revealed plans to provide medical facilities as well as support with the equipping of existing healthcare centres across the nation.
These sites will serve as training, testing, isolation and treatment centres and are located in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Borno, Enugu and Port Harcourt for the first phase, and same will be replicated in other states in the federation.
As of this publication, Nigeria has thus far recorded 343 total cases of COVID-19, with 91 people discharged and 10 deaths. Data provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that over 5,000 tests have been done with contact tracing ongoing for the recently confirmed patients.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, it is important for everyone to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, maintain good hygiene, report symptoms of the virus and be open and truthful about travel and medical history.