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Published On: Thu, Apr 2nd, 2020

Coronavirus: Dabiri-Erewa hails Diaspora support initiative

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By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has commended the Diaspora support initiative in respect of eradicating Covid-19 in Nigeria, describing it as a caring and kind gesture.
Dabiri- Erewa, in a statement in Abuja Tuesday by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations Unit, said the initiative of the Diaspora towards containing the disease is commendable.
She stated that NIDCOM is proud to be associated with the initiative geared towards supporting those affected with the dreaded virus in Nigeria as well as assisting the country in the fight against Covid-19.
She assured that NIDCOM will supervise and co ordinate funds raised by the coordinators and promoters .
Dabiri-Erewa added that the funds will strictly be used for procurement of needed materials and equipment.
She said that Nigeria is, undoubtedly, blessed with human and material resources from its Diasporas capable of fighting the dreaded disease with expertise and materials support.
Thus far, over 135 Nigerians have tested positive to the Coronavirus with only two deaths and this had led to lockdown of the country as a way of reducing the spread.
The Diaspora initiative for Covid-19 in Nigeria is contained in a letter (attached) by project coordinators, Prof. Akin Bamigboye and Ms. Lola Visser-Mabogunje on behalf of Nigerians in the diaspora.
The project also has over 26 promoters from various parts of the World.
The group said the funds being solicited are intended to be used for the procurement of masks, protective gears and other medical supplies for frontline (Medics and Paramedics).
They also intend to purchase the life support machines for respiratory conditions called ventilators.
According to them, “Therefore through the donations, we plan to arrange testing for 5,000 to 10,000 high risk individuals of all ages including most especially the above 60s and those with underlying medical conditions.
“The distribution of these materials and identification of those people to be tested will cut across the most affected States of the Federation, and this will be done through the assistance of NIDCOM, the apex Government agency for the coordination of diaspora activities. Distributing through NIDCOM will eliminate logistic challenges, bureaucratic bottlenecks and will provide ease of access to States Government “, the group said in its letter “We believe that the activities we have so far identified will have
positive outcomes and meaningful impact on the Medics, Paramedics and the communities at large, especially the poor and the physically challenged groups in our society.
“We are therefore calling on you to donate generously into the following account, opened solely for the purpose of this intervention.
“We can assure you that all procurement activities will be conducted in a transparent manner; contributions received will be declared and all expenditures will be accounted for”, they added.

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