Lagos — The Nigerian Stock Exchange has dedicated N100M to aid the fight against the deadly coronavirus currently raving the world.
The Exchange stressed that, N60million out of this sum will be donated to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC), while the balance N40million will be devoted to the “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign.
They said the CMSCC is the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led committee, comprised of the capital market community set up to galvanize the capital market ecosystem to play an active role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, while the “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign will see to the donation of over 100,000 reusable face masks to states most affected by COVID-19.
The Exchange stated that the initiative is coming on the back of a growing call for the use of masks as an effective measure in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and with the increasing body of evidence that the use of masks by the populace could slow the spread of coronavirus, several countries, including the United States of America, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, and Nigeria to name a few, have adopted this control measure.
Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema said, they recognize the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and the need to adopt more proactive steps in stemming the tide.
He said, in line with their tradition of supporting the communities where they operate, they have launched the Masks For All Nigerians campaign to ensure that protective masks get into the hands of citizens in the more vulnerable places.
“Through our media enlightenment engagement, we will raise awareness on the proper use of masks, continue to encourage adherence to the guidelines that have been provided by relevant agencies, and emphasize that wearing of masks alone is not enough protective measure against COVID-19.”
‘’We have also been deliberate with this intervention by patronizing local manufacturers in our efforts to support indigenous businesses, who we have mandated to comply with the mask production specifications provided by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)” he averred.
Adding his voice, the President of the National Council, NSE, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo said, the country is facing an unprecedented existential threat that requires them to adopt a more collaborative approach in fighting this pandemic especially where social interaction is inevitable.
Otunba Abimbola emphasized that, they are working to encourage the use of Personal Protective Equipment through adequate production and distribution of reusable face masks and also call on the capital market ecosystem 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, while leading to the reactivation of our economy.
The Exchange reiterated that, they have displayed remarkable resilience and will continue 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 the environment.
‘’The Masks For All Nigerians campaign and the donation of masks will provide immense support to the government in reaching communities who have hitherto been left vulnerable and will most importantly continues to support remote working and trading, promote market deepening activities, create an enabling regulatory environment for stakeholders, and recognize 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’’ they said.