When the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, started baring its fangs in Nigeria, it became clear that the government could not face the economic implications alone. The government needed help and it got it from successful entrepreneurs. One of them was Billionaire Entrepreneur and Chairman, Geregu Power PLC, Femi Otedola. He stood up to be counted when his nation needed him.
Amid rising cases of COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown in March, the business mogul donated N1 billion to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID). “I will be contributing 1 Billion Naira towards the eradication of COVID-19 across Nigeria. We must all do what we can to flatten the curve,” he disclosed via social media media.
🙏🏾 …F.Ote💲 pic.twitter.com/kC3tsxmBl9
— Femi Ote$ (@realFemiOtedola) March 27, 2020
This benevolent act did not come as a surprise considering his past philanthropic activities and his culture of urging other people to be charitable instead of leaving everything to the government.
CACOVID was set up by entrepreneurs who decided to support the government’s fight against the ravaging virus. Otedola is part of the funding committee of the coalition that has been responsible for setting up isolation centres, testing laboratories, and distributing palliatives to millions of vulnerable Nigerians.
As the nation’s weak health sector grappled with rising cases of the disease in March, CACOVID quickly set up isolation and treatment centres across the country. Lagos State, the epicentre of COVID-19 in Nigeria, was provided with 1000 beds while Kano got 500 beds. Others are Rivers (210 beds) Abuja (200 beds), Enugu (200 beds) and Borno (200 beds). As months passed by, other states were also provided with bed spaces for isolation and treatment of positive cases.
Till today, Otedola’s CACOVID has not relented in its efforts to support the most vulnerable Nigerians affected by the economic implications of the coronavirus disease.
In September, 37, 000 homes in Enugu State have received essential food items in the coalition’s nationwide palliative programme. Also, 50,000 vulnerable citizens in Borno State were recently assisted with over 300,000 different essential food items. The palliatives, including cartons of noodles, bags of rice, sugar, pasta, salt, and garri, were to serve as a salve to recovering people in the society.
Edo State was not left behind in the the long list of states benefiting from CACOVID’s palliative scheme. The culturally rich state also received a total of 252,000 essential food materials shared across 36,295 homes in September. In addition to Edo, Nasarawa State Governor, Abduallahi Sule recently commissioned the distribution of the coalition’s palliatives to the vulnerable people in his state. The distribution saw over 21,600 homes receive 148,000 food materials as part of the palliative programme.
Otedola, an advocate of giving to the poor, has walked his talk in the past months and been a reason for the smile of several poor households. For his financial support and role in the successful programmes of CACOVID, Femi Otedola is our #ALEDEHCOVID-19Hero of the week.