The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday redeemed its pledge of N60 million to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC) with the donation of an ambulance and N22.7 million cash.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
CMSCC is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-led initiative set up to stimulate the capital market ecosystem to play an active role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Onyema said that the initiative was in furtherance of the collaboration in fighting the pandemic, targeting the very vulnerable in the society.
“We are facing an unprecedented crisis that requires us to adopt a more collaborative approach in fighting this pandemic, especially as economic activity and social interactions resume.
“As we work to encourage the use of reusable face masks and adherence to other safety guidelines, we call on responsible corporate citizens and well-meaning individuals to support this initiative by wearing a mask when in public settings and donating masks especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid, so as to protect lives.
“As part of the Masks For All Nigerians campaign, the Exchange executed a nationwide awareness campaign on social media and radio to educate Nigerians on the need to wear face masks, practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene.
“It also involved its Good Cause Ambassador, Innocent ‘TuFace’ Idibia, to amplify the need for Nigerians to wear and donate face masks via www.masksforallng.com, as well as adhere to the guidelines put in place to keep our communities safe.
“As part of its Employee Giveback Programme, members of staff are also donating 500 masks per week to Nigerians,” he said.
Onyema also said that the Exchange was displaying undaunted support in the fight against COVID-19.
“The Exchange has displayed remarkable resilience during this pandemic and continues to support the fight against COVID-19 in line with the strategic pillars of its Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) strategy – community, workplace, marketplace and environment.
“The Masks For All Nigerians campaign and the attendant mask donation will provide immense support to the Government in reaching communities who have hitherto been left vulnerable.
“The Exchange also continues to sustain market activity through remote working and trading; promote market deepening activities; create an enabling regulatory environment for stakeholders; and recognise the efforts of public and private sector players in raising awareness, ramping up testing and increasing the capacity of the health sector to slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
The statement said the donation was received by the Chairman of CMSCC, Mr Ariyo Olushekun and the Director, Lagos Zonal Office, SEC, Mr Steven Falomo.
According to the statement, the Exchange, to further its commitment to support the fight against the virus, launched the Masks For All Nigerians campaign.
It was launched with the aim of galvanizing responsible corporate citizens and individuals to donate 400 million face masks to Nigerians, especially low-income households.
The NSE kicked off the campaign with an anchor donation of 100,000 face masks that are being distributed in areas where it has operations and areas that are greatly affected by COVID-19.
In response to the call, several private sector players sprung into action, with the total number of masks donated under the initiative hitting 216,300.
Opay was the first to partner the Exchange with a donation of 100,000 face masks to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on June 4; also, Morbod Group donated 13,000 masks to residents of Lagos and South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
The two most recent donors were Babalakin & Co Legal Practitioners and AIICO Insurance who donated 1,300 non-medical face masks to the Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Nigerian Correctional Service and 2,000 non-medical face masks to the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Lagos State Branch, respectively.
AIICO Insurance has also made a commitment to donate another 7,000 face masks.
The Exchange gave the breakdown of face masks for distribution as; 33,000 face masks in Lagos; 7,000 in Oyo; 5,000 in Ogun; 5,500 in Anambra; 5,500 in Rivers; 3,800 in Edo; 14,500 in Abuja; 18,000 in Kano; 3,900 in Borno; 3,800 in Kaduna; and 10,000 to capital market stakeholders.