While the federal government is making conscious efforts to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, concerned organisations and individuals have been making donations to support the government.
The Flour Mills of Nigeria Group (FMN Group) on Thursday donated $1.5 million worth of ventilators and other essential personal protective equipment and testing kits to the Nigerian government.
According to a statement signed by the Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Boye Olusanya, medical supplies procured would be completely delivered by the end of April.
“Thousands of medical supplies procured from Dubai, United States, Canada, Greece and China, which started arriving in Nigeria since April 18 in batches will be completely delivered by the end of April,” he said.
The first batch of the supplies, which have now arrived, sourced through FMN’s global supply chain, focused on the most essential needs of the government at the moment, the company said.
It said the supplies are in a visionary global procurement operation idealised by the Chairman of FMN Group, John Coumantaros.
Mr Olusanya said the supplies, which would continue to arrive in batches over the next week, would beef up Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19.
He said the supplies were an additional contribution by FMN through Mr Coumantaros, a leading industrialist.
The company said it had also redeemed an initial N1 billion pledge to the federal government through the CBN-led Nigerian Private Sector Coalition against COVID-19.
In the statement, it said despite procurement restrictions on supplies by several countries to ensure their frontline responders had sufficient supplies, FMN, through its global supply chain network, ensured that it sourced and procured these critical supplies for Nigeria.
He added that some of the items on the first batch that have arrived include ventilators, protective equipment and testing kits, assuring that all the supply would have arrived and been handed over by end of April.
“When fully delivered, the medical supplies will facilitate 100 per day field-testing capacity and 35,000 laboratory-based testing capacity. The supplies also include 331,000 pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comprising N95 Masks, Coveralls, Protective gloves, and Protective eyewear enough to provide regular use for 10,000 Nigerian health care professionals over two months,” it said
There are also 75 Ventilators, which will boost Nigeria’s total stock, and these supplies will be delivered to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to ramp up the capacity in Nigeria, the company said.
“FMN initiated a global supply chain plan to help provide the Nigerian Government with tangible, and tactical support during the global economic lockdown.
“This initiative led by the philanthropic Industrialist John Coumantaros, Chairman of the FMN Group, involved the leadership of the NCDC, Ministry of Finance, vendors from 5 Nations, multiple logistics partners, and a team drawn from the FMN group’s operational leadership.
“The team scaled through varying national restrictions on medical supply procurement, limited stock, transport restrictions, but stayed resolute in the race to help Nigeria manage and flatten the curve,” said Mr Olusanya.
He said following a directive from Mr Coumantaros, the group has commenced deployment of N400 million worth of food relief packages to vulnerable communities most affected by the lockdown in 11 states across the nation.
“To reduce the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, FMN will continue to work with the Federal Government and related agencies to provide relief materials.
“The safety of Nigerians is paramount to us, so we encourage all Nigerians to adhere to the necessary protective measures against the virus and its spread.
“FMN relying on its 60-year-old profile as an agro-giant in Nigeria’s critical food value-chains and a significant contributor to Nigeria’s quest to feed itself is bringing its biggest strength to the table, using its global supply chain network to help Nigeria defend itself against COVID-19,” he said.