The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Wednesday donated N70 million to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Coronavirus Virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A statement by the Board said the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, handed over a letter communicating the donation to Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, in Abuja.
Wabote explained that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the chairman of the NCDMB Governing Council, was passionate about the oil and gas industry’s support to the fight against Covid-19.
He noted that despite the Board’s recent donation of ambulances and medical supplies to its host states of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, to support its response against the pandemic, the Governing Council still considered it necessary to approve additional support to the national effort.
In his response, Mr. Mustapha thanked the NCDMB for the donation and assured that it would be used judiciously in furtherance of the national response. He added that medical equipment and relief materials were required in all states of the country.
He regretted that COVID-19 had become the biggest health challenge of this generation and every available resources will be required to contain it.
Mustapha charged Nigerians to take personal responsibility and obey all the guidelines issued for the easing of the lockdown.
He stressed that countries that had overcome the virus had achieved the feat through the active cooperation of their citizens.
Speaking further, the SGF hinted that the pandemic had provided the perfect opportunity for Nigerians to promote local content in all facets of the economy.
He noted that all countries of the world were scrambling for ventilators, test kits and other medical consumables, thereby spiking the cost of the items.
This development he said underscored the urgency to focus on the local production of all critical items we need as a nation.
He added that focusing on Local Content in key sectors of the economy will also help to stop capital flight and create much needed jobs locally.
He confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had begun to introduce a number of funding packages that are designed to promote medical, pharmaceutical and hospitality businesses that would depend on what we produce, manufacture and consume locally.