*Also, N28bn to support 1.7m households
The Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) said it will make available over N100 billion to procure equipment and gadgets for the Nigeria Police Force over the next two years to strengthen security apparatus in the country.
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele made the disclosure on Wednesday, stressing the decision arose following the vandalization and burning of several police stations during the EndSARS protests in October across the country.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, Emefiele said CACOVID was committed to fully rehabilitating all the 44 damaged and destroyed police stations nationwide, in a bid to restore security in affected locations.
“As we are all aware, the aftermath of the EndSARS protest that took place in several parts of the country in October 2020, led to the vandalization of private and public assets, which includes business houses, shopping malls, banks and police stations.
“Many small and medium scale businesses that were affected have struggled to resume full business activities.
“In addition, the provision of security which is essential to the conduct of business activities has been hampered due to the damage of 44 police stations across the country.
“If left unattended, this situation could undermine confidence in our economy and derail the efforts of the government in enabling faster recovery of the Nigerian economy, following the impact of COVID-19.
“As a result, the Bankers Committee and critical stakeholders in the private sector, under the auspices of the CACOVID alliance, held series of meetings towards developing measures that will support the government’s efforts in rebuilding confidence in our nation’s economy.
“Some of the measures agreed upon by the CACOVID alliance include; Banks and financial institutions would be required to extend relief through concessionary loans to affected businesses and firms, so they can rebuild and restock their stores and continue to conduct their business activities.
The governor added that in the wake of the outbreak of Covid19, the CACOVID requested and received support from over 200 well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations, who provided donations to the tune of N39,646,100,039.00 billion in support of the fight against the pandemic.
He said in order to ensure that the funds were judiciously utilized, “a transparent and accountable framework was put in place by highly rated firms of chartered accountants.
“We engaged KPMG Professional Services as book keepers and Messrs Enrst and Young as Auditors, in Line with our promise to be open and Transparent in the utilization of the funds donated by our partners”.
On how the donations is to be utilised, Emefiele said the CACOVID has far expended the sum of N43,272,562,831 on the acquisition of medical equipment and supplies as well as food palliatives for the vulnerable.
According to him, the funds raised were used to support three key priorities areas including Medical, Facilities and Equipment, adding that CACOVID developed 39 fully equipped isolation centers across the 36 States of the Country including the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) .
“The sum of N4,194,262,899 was spent in Building Isolation Centers.
“In addition, medical equipments such as PCR test kits for suspected cases of COVID-19 were procured along with other required medical items at a cost of N9,017,561,723.
“This support by CACOVID enabled many states to deal with an unexpected surge in cases of COVID-19.
“As part of our efforts to cushion the effects of the lockdown on vulnerable Nigerians affected by the restrictions in movement, CACOVID provided palliatives in the form of essential food items to 1.7m households, which is equivalent to supporting 8 million Nigerians.
”A total of N28,767,590,517 was spent procuring these food supplies.
“These palliatives were acknowledged and disbursed by various state governments; and a schedule showing the various quantities and dates of delivery will also be posted on our website for public scrutiny.
“Our intention for distributing these items through the State Government, just like in the case of the isolation centers was based on the thinking that the state governments have the closest contacts with the most vulnerable in our society for whom these support were meant”, he said.