The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has committed N100 million (about $263,157) to support the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria.The NSE said in a statement on Thursday in Lagos that N60 million out of this money would be donated to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC), while the balance N40 million would be devoted to the “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign.
The CMSCC is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led committee, comprising the capital market community and 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 the NSE donate over 100,000 reusable face masks to states most affected by COVID-19 as well as run an enlightenment programme on the safe use of masks on traditional and social media.
According to the statement, the initiative comes on the back of a growing call for the use of masks as an effective measure in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 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 have adopted this control measure.
Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said: “At the Exchange, we 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. In line with our tradition of supporting the communities where we operate, we 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 patronising 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),” Mr. Onyema said. ($1=N380)