What do you do when you encounter an unprecedented pandemic that you have never experienced before? As a society, how do we respond to the needs of average citizens devastated by an unknown disease that threatens our health, wellbeing and livelihood? As an individual, should you step forward and help, or should you sit back, do nothing and place the onus solely on the government? Should you run or should you fight?
In the next few pages, we will be describing how a coalition of private organizations is stepping up the fight against COVID-19, working alongside the government to end the pandemic. It is a story of not just how the private sector can rapidly mobilize its resources and knowhow to collaborate in achieving a common good, but one of empathy and a shared humanity that transcends culture and economic status. Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
Why CACOVID Was Formed
When the year 2020 started, we all thought that it would be a year to never forget, simply because it was the beginning of a new decade.
When the first case of the coronavirus disease was confirmed in Nigeria on the 27th of February, 2020 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), no one thought it would alter the course of history in ways we couldn’t predict — just like those before it. Infectious diseases have always been with us and our history as a race is marked by a string of pandemic diseases – from the Black Death that struck Europe in mid-1300s to the Spanish flu of 1918 and the more recent AIDS pandemic in the 1980s.
COVID-19 marks the return of a very old but familiar threat and it is reminding us that infectious diseases have not vanished.
Early this year, COVID-19, which is an extremely virulent strain of the Sars-COV virus family, forced the world into a standstill. Since the index case, the country has recorded over 26,484 confirmed cases as at the time of writing this piece, with over 600 deaths and 10,152 recoveries, spread over 36 states in the country. Today, COVID-19 is considered public enemy number one!
With some of the country’s major cities implementing lockdowns and imposing curfews in a bid to stop the spread and halt new infections, tens of millions of Nigerians were forced to stay indoors for the collective good of all. The government has no doubt done a lot to fight the pandemic, but with the size and complexity of Nigeria, it cannot do it alone. A pandemic of this magnitude and importance needs all hands on deck. This is why CACOVID was created – to support the efforts of the government to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Beginning of Nationwide Impact
CACOVID was launched with the singular mission of supporting the efforts of the government providing direct aid to the Health Ministry and ultimately fast tracking the end of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
After the NCDC put out a COVID-19 action plan, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Aliko Dangote and Herbert Wigwe issued a call to private sector partners to mobilize more resources for the response. A goal of N120 billion was set and organizations were invited to participate.
In collaboration with the CBN, and other concerned individuals and corporations, CACOVID has thus far, raised over N27 billion. Now with over 100 contributing organizations, CACOVID has principally worked on three areas:
- Increasing Nigeria’s Testing Capacity
With the growing number of cases, it was evident that Nigeria had to drastically increase its testing rates to meet up with the case. Evidently, CACOVID’s first priority was to invest in expanding the national testing capacity. To this end, 20,000 test reaction kits, 35,500 sample collection swabs, 5,000 (Viral Transport Mediums) VTMs for conveying samples, and 100 infrared thermometers were delivered to NCDC by CACOVID.
Furthermore, CACOVID donated Extraction Kits (Testing kits) to the NCDC. This kit is especially designed for COVID-19 and is a critical part of diagnostic tests, a lack of which stalls the molecular diagnosis for COVID-19. So far, CACOVID has delivered 140 extraction kits. These 140 kits translate to an additional 14,000 tests.
With this support, the Nigerian government will be able to ramp up testing by 34,000.
- Creating Isolation Centres
After testing people, it’s important that they’re isolated and treated properly to prevent the spread of the contagion. In partnership with the State Governments and part of a two-phased programme, isolation centres have been created in all states in Nigeria.
CACOVID has commissioned over 4,000 bed Isolation centers in 36 states and FCT, all set up with the required medical equipments such as ICU beds, Respirators, X-Ray unit, Ultrasound Machines, Biosafety cabinets, Defibrillator (AED), Patient Monitors, Oxygen concentrator and regulator, Generators, PPEs (Scrubs, Coveralls, Facemask, Sanitizers, Protective Googles, Face shields, Disposable gloves), etc. The goal is to ensure that every patient who tests positive receives adequate treatment.
- Delivering Food Palliatives
CACOVID’s primary goal is to save as many lives as is humanly possible. In line with this mission, the coalition decided to address the distress of the public through its food palliative program. As some of the country’s major cities were in a prolonged lockdown, about 1.7 million vulnerable homes (the poorest 5% of the Nigerian population) stand to get relief in the form of food items distributed by CACOVID’s Operations Committee.
That number was arrived at by taking into account the total population of Nigeria, which is about 200 million people and addressing the bottom 5%, with an average of six people per household. These households will receive food palliatives, across the 774 Local Government Areas nationwide.
As expected, the question is how will the food be distributed? Is it even possible for one organization to reach 1.7 million homes across a country of more than 200million people?
The modalities adopted in getting the relief materials to the targeted households are as follows:
- Distribution has followed a bottom-up approach.
- The Coalition is leveraging its network to reach all 774 local government areas, assigning its member partners (over 80 private organizations) to oversee the delivery of these food items.
The Coalition also ensured that only essential items will be distributed such as Rice (10kg), Garri (10kg), Salt (5kg), Sugar (5kg), Spaghetti (Carton) and Noodles (Carton).
Catering to over a million households is an uphill task and yet, can seem negligible when compared with the total Nigerian population. Asides this, there’s also the larger population with sources of income that have become more unstable due to the pandemic. To further bridge this gap, over 60,000 cooked meals and 140,000 loaves of bread have been donated.
The Journey to Recovery
What will life look like after COVID-19? This is a question that needs to be answered by all sectors. There are several businesses and individuals going through incredibly difficult times and it will be a lot of pressure for them to get back on track.
We are facing an unprecedented event and it is uncertain what the future holds. Nevertheless, there is a fundamental belief that irrespective of how things evolve, we Nigerians must stand together and help one another. This has been the impetus for the private sector to get involved and we use this as a clarion call to invite more partners to join the coalition. We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.
CACOVID Relief Fund
List of Contributors
|1||Central Bank Of Nigeria||Central Bank Of Nigeria|
|2||Alike Dangote||Dangote Industries Limited|
|3||Flood Relief Fund||Pres. Committee On Flood Relief & Rehabilitation|
|4||Abdul Samad Rabiu||Bua Sugar Refinery Limited|
|5||Femi Otedola||Amperion Power Distribution Ltd|
|6||Herbert Wigwe||Access Bank Plc|
|7||Jim Ovia||Zenith Bank Plc|
|8||John Coumantatous||Flour Mills Of Nigeria Plc|
|9||Mike Adenuga||Mike Adenuga Foundation|
|10||Modupe & Folorunsho Alakija||Famfa Oil Limited|
|11||MTN Nigeria Plc||MTN Nigeria Plc|
|12||NDIC||Nigeria Deposit insurance Corporation|
|13||Oba Otedeko||First Bank Of Nigeria|
|14||Raj Gupta||African Steel Mills Nig. Ltd|
|15||Segun Agbaje||Guaranty Trust Bank Plc|
|16||Tony Elumelu||United Bank Of Africa|
|17||Bank Of Industry||Bank Of Industry|
|18||Deji Adeleke||Pacific Holding Limited|
|19||FrieslandCampina Wamco||FrieslandCampina Wamco|
|20||Rahul Savara||Wacot Rice Limited|
|21||Tolaram Africa Ent Ltd||Tolaram Africa Enterprise Ltd|
|22||Africa Finance Corp||Africa Finance Corporation|
|23||Citibank Nigeria Ltd||Citibank Nigeria Ltd|
|24||Ecobank Plc||Ecobank Plc|
|26||Fidelity Bank Plc||Fidelity Bank Plc|
|27||Stanbic IBTC Bank||Stanbic IBTC Bank|
|28||Standard Chartered Bank||Standard Chartered Bank|
|29||Sterling Bank Plc||Sterling Bank Plc|
|30||Union Bank Plc||Union Bank Plc|
|31||Multichoice Nigeria Ltd||Multichoice Nigeria Ltd|
|32||Apm Terminals Apapa Ltd||Apm Terminals Apapa Ltd|
|33||Coronation Merchant Bank||Coronation Merchant Bank|
|34||FBN Merchant Bank||FBN Merchant Bank|
|36||Heritage Bank||Heritage Bank|
|37||KC Gaming Networks Ltd||KC Gaming Networks Ltd|
|38||Keystone Bank||Keystone Bank|
|39||Nova Merchant Bank||Nova Merchant Bank|
|40||Polaris Bank||Polaris Bank|
|41||Ports & Terminal Multiservices Ltd||Ports And Terminal Multiservices Ltd|
|42||Providus Bank||Providus Bank|
|43||Rand Merchant Bank||Rand Merchant Bank|
|44||Sun Trust Bank||Sun Trust Bank|
|45||Unity Bank||Unity Bank|
|46||Wema Bank||Wema Bank|
|47||Five Star Logistics Ltd||Five Star Logistics Limited|
|48||Ports & Cargo Handling Services||Ports And Cargo Handling Services|
|49||ENL Consortium||ENL Consortium|
|50||Josepdam Ports Services Nig||Josepdam Ports Services Nig|
|51||Systemspecs ltd||Systemspecs Ltd|
|52||Atiku Abubakar||Adama Beverages Ltd|
|53||Globus Bank||Globus Bank|
|54||Pastor W. F. Kumuyi||Deeper Christian Life Ministry|
|55||Ports And Terminal||Ports And Terminal|
|56||Takagro Chemicals Ltd||Takagro Chemicals Ltd|
|57||Titan Trust Bank||Titan Trust Bank|
|58||Wa Container Terminal||Wa Container Terminal|
|59||Kam Wire Limited||Kam Wire Ltd|
|60||De Damak Nig ltd Automobile||De Damak Nig Ltd Automobile|
|61||Adron Homes Properties Ltd||Adron Homes Properties Ltd|
|63||lnnovate1 Pay||Ahmadu Mahmoud Apapa|
|64||Apapa Bulk Terminal||Bulk Terminal|
|65||ECN Terminal||ECN Terminal|
|66||Ekeoma Erne Ekeoma||Ekeoma Erne Ekeoma|
|67||Greenwich Trust Ltd||Greenwich Trust Ltd|
|68||Ladol Logistics Ltd||Ladol Logistics Ltd|
|69||Sil Chemicals Ltd||Sil Chemicals Ltd|
|70||Cowry Asset Mgmt Ltd||Cowry Asset Management Ltd|
|71||Comet Shipping Agencies Nig||Comet Shipping Agencies Nig|
|72||Jennifer RamatuEtuh Foundation||Handy Capital Ltd|
|73||Me Cure Industries||Me Cure Industries|
|74||Jubali Brothers Ltd||Jubali Brothers Ltd|
|75||Adg Inti. Resources Ltd||Adg International Resources Ltd|
|76||Norrenberger lnv. Capital Ltd||Nerrenberger Investment Capital Ltd|
|77||Ocean Lords Ltd||Ocean Lords Limited|
|78||Few Chore Fin. Company Ltd||Few Chore Finance Company Ltd|
|79||Prosharena Ltd||Prosharena Limited|
|80||Tarabaroz Fisheries Ltd||Tarabaroz Fisheries Limited|
|81||Abayomi Folorunsho||Abayomi Folorunsho|
|82||Kanakala Lakshmipathi Naidu||Naidu Kanakala|
|83||Usman Ahmed||Usman Ahmed|
|84||Anyaehie S.lkechukwu||Anyaehie Stanislaus lkechukwu|
|85||Frederick Klgha||Frederick Kigha|
|86||Jayakumar Selwam||Jayakumar Selwam|
|87||Manji Tabwahat Longmut||Manji Tabwahat Longmut|
|88||Mr. & Mrs. 0. E. Oluwajoba||Mr. & Mrs. Ojo Edward Oluwajoba|
|89||Hamza Muhammad Kamba||Hamza Muhammad Kamba|
|90||Kamalu Aminu||Kamalu Aminu|
|92||Mohammed GhaliMuhammed||Mohammed Ghali Muhammed|
|93||Adamu Yusuf||Adamu Yusuf|
|94||Uchenidu Collins||Uchenidu Collins|
|95||Bashir Auwal||Bashir Auwal|
|96||Bilal Abdulsalam||Bilal Abdulsalam|
|97||Umar Nafiu Usman||Umar Nafiu Usman|
|98||Bashir Sulaiman||Bashir Sulaiman|
|99||SaniAito lsah||SaniAlto lsah|
|100||Abubakar Shehu||Abubakar Shehu|
|101||Sanni Zakariyya||Sanni Zakariyya|
|102||lbrahum Mohd Bello||lbrahum Mohd Bello|
|103||Alhaji Mallam Musa||Alhaji Mallam Musa|
|104||ldris Muhammad||ldris Muhammad|
|105||Abubakar Ismail Abubakar||Abubakar Ismail Abubakar|
|106||Bello Shuaibu||Bello Shuaibu|
The Coalition Against COVID-19 is a private sector-led organization in Nigeria established to assist the government in combating the Coronavirus disease in the country.