Nigerian bank donates 14-mln-USD to fight COVID-19 in Africa

LAGOS, March 28 (Xinhua) -- One of Nigeria's largest financial institution, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), has announced a donation of 14 million U.S. dollars, to catalyze a comprehensive pan-African response to the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement made available to Xinhua on Saturday, the bank's donation, which will be provided through UBA Foundation, will create 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 UBA support program includes 2.8 million dollars to Lagos, currently the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria, 1.4 million dollars to Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and 2.8 million dollars to the remaining 35 states in Nigeria.

Others are 4.2 million dollars to UBA's presence countries in Africa and 2.8 million dollars for medical centers with equipment and supplies.

The bank will also provide free telemedicine call center facility, the statement said, adding that it will fund a medical center immediately in Lagos with beds for isolation and intensive care unit (ICU) facilities.

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.

Tony Elumelu, the UBA's group chairman, said the time has come for all to play their part in the fight against the coronavirus, noting that the global epidemic must bring citizens, governments and business leaders together.

"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," he added.


(Photo: VCG)