By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
In a bid to catalyze a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the United Bank for Africa, (UBA) has revealed plans to provide N5 billion, an equivalent of $14 million to COVID-19 relief support across Africa through the UBA Foundation.
The donation the bank noted, will provide significant and much needed support to Nigeria and 19 other African countries, by supplying relief materials, critical care facilities, and financial support to Governments.
In a statement obtained by The Sight News, UBA’s Chairman, Tony Elumelu, noted that the bank’s support programme will be allocated as follows: N1 billion to Lagos, Nigeria; N500 million to Abuja, Nigeria; N1 billion to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria; N1.5 billion to UBA’s presence countries in Africa; N1 billion for Medical Centres with equipment & supplies; and Free Telemedicine call centre facility.
According to him, “We’ll fund a medical centre immediately in Lagos, Nigeria, with beds for isolation and ICU facilities, managed and operated in partnership with Heirs Holdings healthcare subsidiary, Avon Medical Hospital.
“In addition, we’re providing a free telemedicine platform, that is physician-led, to provide direct access to medical advice to citizens, in compliance with social distancing requirements”.
Elumelu further stated, “This is a time when we must all play our part. This global pandemic must bring citizens, governments and business leaders together – and quickly.
“As we see a rapidly increasing number of cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria and Africa, the private sector has to work hand-in-hand with various Governments, in stemming the spread”.
He commended the efforts of governments, adding that they are keen to partner and contribute resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective.