Red Cross seeks greater partnership with Nigeria’s private sector

The sensitisation of the private sector in Nigeria on the growing humanitarian needs of victims of conflict in the country and around the world took place on Sunday at the Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos.

The Nigerian Red Cross Society played host to a gathering of personalities that came under one roof to chart new ways to deepen the relationships between it and the organised private sector in the country.

A former Nigerian minister and President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nike Akande, declared the event open and commended the ICRC for its leadership role across conflict areas in recent times.

The President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Bolaji Anani, spoke on the need to deepen the working relationship between the organisation and the private sector.

He also spoke on the growing humanitarian concerns in the Northeast as many lives may depend on the outcome of the meeting.

The partnership development round table convened by the Nigerian Red Cross and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and supported by the Nigeria Economic Support Group featured a keynote address by Peter Maurer ,the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on perspectives of business and the humanitarian situation.

Mr. Maurer stressed on the need to have more counterpart funding to cover more areas of work for the organisation through partnerships, which he said is the way forward for the group.

There were also representatives of the Dangote and Tony Elumelu foundations and other stakeholders from the private sector.

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented by his Minister for State for Budget and Planning, Zanaib Ahmed, who disclosed the preparedness of the administration to end all armed conflict in the North-eastern part of the country.

The Lagos State government represented by the Commissioner for Transport, Dayo Moberola, spoke on the need to assist people in conflict zones.

Mr. Moberola also praised the move by ICRC to partner with the government and people of Lagos State as it would open new doors for partnerships that will produce positive results in the long run.

A press briefing at the end of the dinner provided the opportunity for questions on ongoing humanitarian issues in the country.

The Red Cross also threw light on its role as a third party in delicate matters as in the case of the 21 freed Chibok girls where it acted as an intermediary for a peaceful return of the girls.

It, however, said that it was not part of the team that carried out the negotiations for the government.

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