MultiChoice boosts Nigeria's COVID-19 fight with N1.2b

By Kokumo Goodie, Nigeria

MultiChoice Nigeria said it has approved N1.2billion to boost the fight against coronavirus in the country.

The entertainment firm said it also has a number of initiatives it is undertaking to support both the Federal and Lagos governments’ efforts in ameliorating the impact of Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

The Chairman of the company, Mr. Adewunmi Ogunsanya (SAN) said the package include the donation of cash and kits to the relevant agencies responsible for fighting the war.

“We are donating 10,000 certified test kits to support the great work being done by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health. In addition to these, we are also contributing N250 million to the Federal and Lagos State governments’ efforts in providing adequate healthcare delivery facilities to fight Covid-19.

We are doing this because we recognize the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has on Nigerians and the economy. We hope our contributions to NCDC, the Federal and State Governments, alongside other donations, will go a long way towards effective management of the outbreak,” the chairman said.

The CEO of the company, John Ugbe, said the entertainment firm have committed cash to the support the fight. “We have committed N550million worth of inventory to public service announcements in our indigenous languages in addition to English and Pidgin to ensure that every Nigerian understands how to prevent Covid-19 or call for help through the NCDC helplines.

Also, the creative industry salary payment of up to N400 million will offer a much needed financial reprieve for producers, actors, and technical talent currently contracted to MultiChoice Nigeria, whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic,” Ugbe said.

Giving a breakdown of the commitment, Multichoice Nigeria, said the contribution in the fight against Covid-19 include cash support of N200million and N50million to the Federal and Lagos State governments respectively, the donation of 10,000 certified test kits to the NCDC, Public Service Announcement Covid-19 prevention tips in English, Pidgin, Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa languages as well as approved inventory worth over N550million highlighting the NCDC’s Covid-19 Helplines and PSAs on more than 10 channels across DStv and GOtv.

The company will also cover the remuneration for engaged creative industry professionals whose productions have been disrupted, with a committed sum of up to N400million.

As seen in the most hard-hit countries, the availability of test kits and supplies for medical personnel have been some of the biggest challenges in fighting the pandemic. The outbreak has also had a direct impact on individual businesses and general economic activities. Nigeria’s creative industry has been particularly affected, with ongoing productions suspended in response to government’s advisory on public gatherings and social distancing.

MultiChoice Nigeria’s intervention, in line with its values as a responsible corporate organisation and leader in the media and creative sector, is aimed at supporting the authorities in fighting the pandemic and reducing its attendant impact on Nigeria’s national economy.

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