Nigerian businessman, Aliko Dangote through the Aliko Dangote Foundation will be heading a coalition of private sector organisations to offer support to the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak gradually sweeping through the country.
The initiative is called the Coalition Against Coronavirus (COCAVID) and will focus on the erection of fully-equipped medical tents that will house patients and serve as training, testing, isolation and treatment centers, with an additional facility also provided in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The COCAVID is led by Dangote Industries Limited and Access Bank Group in collaboration with Zenith Bank, GTBank, MTN, ITB and others, and will be tasked with the responsibility of mobilizing the private sector thought leadership and resources; creating public awareness; and directing support to private and public healthcare institutions.
Aliko Dangote, President of Dangote Industries Limited, explained that his foundation is pulling resources across industries to provide technical and operational support while providing funding and building advocacy through aggressive awareness drives.”
He said, “the coalition is working with Lagos State Government to erect fully-equipped medical tents that will serve as training, testing, isolation and treatment centers. We are also providing an additional facility in Victoria Island, Lagos.”
Dangote assured that these centers will be fully equipped with medical supplies and trained personnel to cater to patients who may become affected.
“In addition, we will be bringing in experts from around the world to provide technical and training support”, he said.
“COVID-19 affects us all and threatens our collective health (economic, social, psychological) and physical wellbeing. Hence, the urgent need to collaborate and work together to beat this common enemy.”
The task ahead is daunting and bigger than any one organisation. To win this battle, it is critical we all come together as one,” Dangote added.
He disclosed that work has commenced and also sought government’s support to have private laboratories test alongside government centers. He said this will reduce the waiting period for suspected COVID-19 cases.
“There are currently five Government laboratories equipped to handle all the testing in Nigeria. However, we have many more quality ones that can do it, but are not yet approved by Government to do so,” Dangote noted.