The donations to the intervention fund set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the private sector keep increasing by the day, as Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) became one of the largest contributors to the fund.
Aside from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the leading Food and Agro-allied group is another organisation that has donated N2 billion as part of its strategic initiatives and response plan to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is currently spreading around the country,
This donation is made up of N1 billion in cash and another sum of N1 billion which will be spent on food relief items and medical supplies to frontline medical and emergency responders around the country.
Some of the medical supplies and equipment to be given out by Flour Mills include 35,000 units of COVID-19 testing kits, pharmaceutical supplies for COVID-19, 75 ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for 10,000 medical and emergency workers.
Flour Mills recognizes the economic hardship Nigerians are going through due to lockdown and restrictions placed by both Federal and State governments as a way of containing the spread of the disease and so decided to offer cash, food items and medical supplies as a show of support.
According to the Group Managing Director of Flour Mill, “The outbreak of the coronavirus is indeed a humanitarian crisis with a devastating impact across the world. To stem the tide of the virus, especially in the most vulnerable communities, the time to act is now. Having developed a deep enduring relationship with Nigerians for the past 60 years, FMN is determined to do whatever it can to help in the face of these challenges.
“These are very trying times, and our thoughts are with all Nigerians. While I commend the efforts of the government for the initiatives implemented to slow the pace of the outbreak so far, private sector organizations and governments at all levels must continue to collaborate in a bid to quickly end the pandemic in Nigeria, across Africa and indeed the world.”
In the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the country, the CBN, in partnership with the private sector, set up the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition against COVID-19 to raise funds in order to support efforts to contain this disease.
As the donations in the relief funds keep increasing with huge contributions from these corporate organizations and high net worth individuals, Nigerians have expressed doubts towards the prudent and transparent management of these resources.
In response to those concerns, the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, at a press conference two days ago said that the Federal Government was going to appoint a special committee to manage those funds and also listed designated banks that then donations can be made to.