… As Obiano pleads with corporate bodies, others for support
Anambra State Government has called on corporate bodies and philanthropists to emulate the noble gesture of United Bank for Africa Plc which harkened to the call by Governor Willie Obiano to support the Anambra Action Committee on Covid-19 with a donation of N28.5million to support the fight against the pandemic.
The plea was made by Secretary to the Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu at the presentation of the cheque by UBA at Government House Awka on Monday.
Prof. Chukwulobelu said that donations by corporate bodies like UBA to the government is a welcome development because it has the structure that would ensure adequate and judicious use of the funds to meet already identifies needs for successful fight against the Coronvirus pandemic.
In his words: “Last week, the Governor made a request to ndi Anambra to assist the state in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The UBA gesture should be emulated by others, donations to private organizations is not the best practice rather the government has identified critical areas of needs. The Technical Committee headed by Commissioner for Health working to ensure that we are ready and luckily the virus has not entered the state. We appeal for support both in material and cash to manage the anticipated health challenges because in such situations, the state can hardly meet the demands required to fund the expenditure.”
According to Prof Chukwulobelu, designated Isolation centres like the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, (NAUTH) Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, and the NYSC Camp Ngbakwu/Umuawulu needs various medical supplies like oxygen concentrates, ventilators, face masks, and Personnel Protection Equipment among others.
“So we need all the help we can get to fund the expenses. Mind you, all the items we are providing are not Coronavirus specific. If we are lucky to wade through this, it can be used for other health needs”, he emphasized.
Elaborating on plans for stimulus package to ameliorate the effects of likely shut-down on ndi Anambra, the Secretary to the State Government said that the state is also conscious that once there is a complete lockdown, there are people that would be dislocated by the action.
“The state is working through an Economic Team to make provision for such persons. Already, we have over 54,000 households on our list which will definitely increase with the present dislocation. The state is working on providing stimulus package to ensure our state does not collapse under recession”, he said.
In his remarks, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Primus Odili, thanked UBA for coming out to support the State in this critical period and also called on others to support the government because this is not the time to politic or operate through separate channels. He stated that an evaluation of everything about Covid-19 show that it is financially involving.
”We are projecting to procure 3million face masks out of the 7million population in the state. Other safety measures like the closure of markets, businesses etc. would require palliatives and all these require money”, Odili stated.
On the preparedness of the state, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, explained “In Anambra State we are still fortunate that we have not recorded any case. The Committee is preparing to combat anticipated challenge. We are working on the capacity of the healthcare system with the continuous training of people at the frontlines. We are also strengthening the capacity of our 200 Bed Isolation centre to 1000 beds. We need more ventilators, ICU equipment, test kits and Personal Protection equipment. There is no doubt that the financial support will be judiciously used. The donation by UBA is a good thing and shows the beauty of the human spirit when entities like UBA show their CSR prowess.”
Presenting the cheque, Regional Director of UBA, Mr. Casmir Molokwu said that” we are here today to collaborate with Anambra State Government in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working through the UBA foundation and we recognize that the Government cannot do it alone. It is in that light that we decided to make this donation. We intend to support as much as we can as time goes on. Also, we are grateful to God that we don’t have a case yet in Anambra.”
Other corporate organizations like M-P Infrastructure donated N5million while the Obijackson group donated four thousand face masks in support of the Anambra Covid -9.
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