Telecommunications service provider Airtel Nigeria has announced a commitment of over $4.9-million towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria, reports The Guardian Nigeria.
In a breakdown of the pledged sum, Airtel says that about $500-thousand will go towards the provision of an isolation centre or any required medical facility as deemed appropriate with the health authority in the country. Furthermore, another $300-thousand will go towards the purchase of over 100,000 N95 respirator masks for health workers across the country.
Airtel is also offering free SMSs to customers across all networks, as well as free data for customers to access educational and health sites. Included in the zero-rated domains are those of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The telecom has been working on a multi-million-Naira educational awareness campaign to educate the Nigerian people on the necessary steps to take towards preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. The campaign’s public service announcements are in local languages including Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo. The nationwide campaign went live on 24 March and has seen heavy reach among traditional and newer media – across radio, billboards, press and digital media.
In terms of supporting local organisations during the crisis, Airtel has committed a further $250-thousand to support the NCDC, the Port Health Services, and the 36 states. Airtel has also sought to supply toll-free lines to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in order to create free connections to NCDC offices nationwide via broadband services.
CEO and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya says that the company is deeply connected with the feelings of every Nigerian at this time. He says Airtel will continue to go the extra mile to help stop the spread of the pandemic in Nigeria.
“As a key stakeholder in Nigeria, we are committed to supporting government at every level in stopping the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to intensify our efforts and support as we leverage our technology and network to bring relief and support to Nigerians at this trying time. We have an obligation to support our communities in fighting this virus and I have no doubt in my mind that we will succeed,” he says.
The Director of Nigeria’s Port Health Services, Dr. Morenike Alex-Okoh, commended Airtel Nigeria for pledging its support as soon as it was requested and fulfilling its promise in such a short amount of time.
“We are inspired by the show of corporate social responsibility by Airtel and look forward to similar support from other organizations not only to the Port Health Services but to the overall effort to fight the Coronavirus pandemic,” she comments.