Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has said that all hands must be on deck to help fight the dreaded coronavirus.
The pandemic has led to the death of over 73000 people with over 1.3m people infected globally.
While also assuring Nigerians and the African continent on hope and eventual victory over the global pandemic, the philanthropists pointed out that if all stakeholders join hands to fight against the scourge, they would overcome it.
In a goodwill message released on the occasion of his 63rd birthday on Friday, April 10 by Dangote Group’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Anthony Chiejina, the foremost entrepreneur commended the private sector for their efforts through an initiative tagged the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) where over N21 billion has been donated to support government efforts to tackle the pandemic in Nigeria.
Dangote had who through his philanthropic organization, Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) has donated N2 billion in cash and other materials to the CACOVID Fund.
While also commending the efforts of the governments at all levels and those on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, Dangote noted that 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 an issue which has assumed a global dimension, with its impact, felt all over the world.
“If we all work together to combat this virus, then there is light at the end of the tunnel.” he pointed.
Apart from the N2bn, Dangote also donated four ambulances to the Lagos State Government to support its efforts after initially announcing an initial donation of N200 million during a meeting with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), international stakeholders and donors in Abuja.
Dangote who is the head of CACOVID is in the fore front of galvanizing individual entrepreneurs and corporate bodies to contribute to the Coalition. CACOVID is building isolation centres in some states which include a 500-bed temporary medical facility in his home state, Kano, 1,000-bed facility in Lagos, 210-bed isolation centre in Rivers, 200-bed facility in Abuja,200-bed facility in Enugu and another 200-bed facility in Borno states respectively.
CACOVID-19 is planning to build isolation centres in Katsina, Ogun, Bayelsa, Anambra, Bauchi and Plateau States respectively as well. Other donors to the CACOVID-19 account include: BUA Group, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Unity Bank, SunTrust Bank, Union Bank, UBA, GTB, FCBM and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, among others.