The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has committed N100 million to support the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
A breakdown indicated that a total of N60 million would be donated to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC) while the balance of N40 million would be committed to NSE’s “Masks for All Nigerians” campaign.
The CMSCC is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-led committee and comprised of operators and stakeholders in the capital market community. The CMSCC was set up to galvanize the capital market ecosystem to play an active role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The “Masks for All Nigerians” campaign will see the NSE donating more than 100,000 reusable face masks to states most affected by COVID-19 while the Exchange will run an enlightenment programme on the safe use of masks on traditional and social media.
This initiative comes on the back of a growing call for the use of masks as an effective measure in slowing the spread of COVID-19. With the increasing body of evidence that the use of masks by the populace could slow the spread of coronavirus, several countries, including the United States of America, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, and Nigeria to name a few, have adopted this control measure.
Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the Exchange recognised the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and the need to adopt more proactive steps in stemming the tide.
According to him, in line with its tradition of supporting the communities where it operates, NSE has launched a “Masks for All Nigerians” campaign to ensure that protective masks get into the hands of citizens in the more vulnerable places.
“Through our media enlightenment engagement, we will raise awareness on the proper use of masks, continue to encourage adherence to the guidelines that have been provided by relevant agencies and emphasize that wearing of masks alone is not enough protective measure against COVID-19.
We have also been deliberate with this intervention by patronising local manufacturers in our efforts to support indigenous businesses, who we have mandated to comply with the mask production specifications provided by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),” Onyema said.
President, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo said the world is facing an unprecedented existential threat that requires all to adopt a more collaborative approach in fighting the pandemic especially where social interaction is inevitable.
“As we work to encourage the use of personal protective equipment through adequate production and distribution of reusable face masks, we call on the capital market ecosystem to support this initiative by wearing a mask when in public settings and donating masks especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid so as to protect lives leading to the reactivation of our economy,” Ogunbanjo said.
He noted that the NSE has displayed remarkable resilience during this pandemic as it continues to support remote working and trading; promote market deepening activities; create an enabling regulatory environment for stakeholders; and recognise the efforts of public and private sector players in raising awareness, ramping up testing and increasing the capacity of the health sector to slow the spread of COVID-19