The United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has announced a donation of over N5billion (USD14 million), through the UBA Foundation, to catalyse a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.
According to a statement signed by Ramon Nasir, Head, External and Media Relations of the bank, “The donation 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.”
The breakdown of the donation shows that the Lagos State Government will get N1 billion; the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja will receive N500 million, while N1billion will be shared among the remaining 35 states in the country.
The bank will also give N1.5 billion (USD4.2 million) to the African countries where it has presence, while N1 billion (USD2.8 million) will be expended on medical centres with equipment and supplies.
Similarly, the bank will provide a free telemedicine call centre facility.
The statement reads further, “The pan-African bank will 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, UBA is providing a free telemedicine platform, that is physician-led, to provide direct access to medical advice to citizens, in compliance with social distancing requirements.”
The statement quoted UBA Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, as saying “This is a time when we must all play our part. This global epidemic 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 of the global pandemic.
“We commend the efforts of governments and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective.”