Good afternoon ladies and Gentlemen. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan China, in December 2019, and its eventual spread to over 190 countries, nations like Nigeria were faced with a dual shock; a public health crisis, and, an over 60 percent decline in commodity prices. The decline in crude prices and the containment measures put in place to deal with the public health crisis, led to a constriction in business activities, with resulting implications for federal and state governments, as well as households and businesses.
Cognizant of the funding challenge faced by Federal and State governments and the need to improve the capacity of our health institutions to deal with emerging cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Bankers Committee, comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Deposit Money Banks as well as key stakeholders in the private sector came together to set up an alliance in March 2020, known as the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
The ultimate objective of CACOVID was to work with the government in providing support in areas that would result in improved health and societal outcomes. We sought to aid the government's in improving testing capability, and management of positive cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria. In addition, CACOVID was expected to provide palliatives to vulnerable members of our society, particularly those who earn daily incomes, and had been severely affected by the lockdown.
As a result of these objectives, CACOVID requested and indeed received an outpouring of support from over 200 well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations, who provided in kind donations, as well as funds to the tune of N39,646,100,039.00 billion in support of the fight against COVID-19.
In order to ensure that these funds were judiciously utilized, a transparent and accountable framework was put in place by highly rated firms of chartered accountants. We engaged KPMG Professional Services as book keepers and Messrs Enrst and Young as Auditors. Ladies and Gentlemen , in Line with our promise to be open and Transparent in the utilization of the funds donated by our partners, CACOVID has today decided to provide the general public with full details relating to the procurement of goods and services along with the disbursement schedule of procured items. These details will be posted on our website in due course.
On the expenditure side, the CACOVID has far incurred expenditure , in the sum of N43,272,562,831 on the acquisition of , not only medical equipment and supplies , but also Food palliatives for the vulnerable amongst us.The funds raised by CACOVID was used to support 3 key priorities. These priorities include;
We would like to use this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to well-meaning Nigerians and businesses, who supported CACOVID in its effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, as well as in the support provided to vulnerable Nigerians.
Response to the EndSARS Protest
As we are all aware, the aftermath of the EndSARS protest that took place in several parts of the country in October 2020, led to the vandalization of private and public assets, which includes business houses, shopping malls, banks and police stations. Many small and medium scale businesses that were affected have struggled to resume full business activities. In addition, the provision of security which is essential to the conduct of business activities has been hampered due to the damage of 44 police stations across the country. If left unattended, this situation could undermine confidence in our economy and derail the efforts of the government in enabling faster recovery of the Nigerian economy, following the impact of COVID-19.
As a result, the Bankers Committee and critical stakeholders in the private sector, under the auspices of the CACOVID alliance, held series of meetings towards developing measures that will support the government's efforts in rebuilding confidence in our nation's economy. Some of the measures agreed upon by the CACOVID alliance include;
Details of all the support stated above will be released in due course to Nigerians. Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, these efforts represent some of the essential steps that are important in rebuilding trust and preventing future unrest within our communities. It would also complement the government's efforts aimed at creating jobs for our youths and in strengthening the security apparatus in the country. More importantly, it would also prevent the challenges which have emanated from the protest, from affecting the long-term growth prospects for households and businesses in the country.
In closing, let me say that providing adequate security is not only the task before the government but also that of the private sector.. Indeed , owners of business premises desire a secure environment to conduct their legitimate businesses. We therefore seize this opportunity to once again , appeal to members of the private sector , who we will be calling on again, to rally round CACOVID to secure not only our businesses but also our country. We also request the private sector to work with to operate under this platform which has been approved by Mr President.
We thank you most sincerely for your attention.