From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
The Presidential Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee has supported Nigeria’s efforts to stem the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country with the sum of N1.5 billion.
Led by the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, the body, (set up in 2012 to provide support for flood victims and related disaster situations in the country), said it was concerned at the nation’s rising profile of infections (already over 420) and deaths (over 11) from the global pandemic since the index case.
Announcing the donation after an emergency meeting Wednesday, Dangote said it has become imperative for all well-meaning Nigerians to help the Federal Government in fighting the deadly virus.
According to him, “the reality of the pandemic has set in now in Nigeria and all hands must be on deck to save our country from its attendant crisis. So far so good, we need to sustain the momentum and ensure that we curtail the spread.”
Present at the meeting were Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Tunde Lemo, Karami Rabiu and Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa, among others, while the co-chairman, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Prof. Sani A. Lugga, Fatimma Wali-Abdurraham and Hajara Alkali, among others, were absent but also backed the decision.
It would be recalled that at its fund-raising dinner on November 8, 2012, the flood committee raised from Nigerians a pledged of about N12 billion for the task, and till date has consistently intervened in areas across the country with flood problems.
Meanwhile, in his goodwill message on his 63rd birthday last week, Dangote stressed that if all works together to combat the virus, there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
Therefore, “all hands must be on deck to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, and every gesture of support from other stakeholders outside government and the business community in Nigeria and Africa would go a long way to help tackle this global-dimension issue, with its impact felt all over the world.”
He further commended the organised private sector which, through the Coalition Against Covid-19 (CACOVID) initiative, has so far raised over N21 billion in aid of government’s efforts against the pandemic in Nigeria.