Union Bank Donates N50m to Procure COVID-19 Testing Kits

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A donation of $130,000 (N50 million) has been announced by one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, Union Bank, to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

The donation was made into a fund set up by 54gene, an African genomics research, services and development company working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will help increase COVID-19 testing capacity in the country by up to 1,000 additional tests a day, by buying testing instruments and critical biosafety materials such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment urgently needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe.

The procured equipment will be installed in general hospitals and laboratories across the country, and will remain in place even after the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to be used in the case of future outbreaks.

In addition, there will also be extensive training and support to medical practitioners and volunteers working across the country to curb the menace.

Announcing the donation, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, Mr Emeka Emuwa, said, “Community is one of our core values at Union Bank, and there’s no better time to live this value than now. A critical need for the country at this time is to scale up our testing capabilities and give us a better chance of slowing the spread of the virus.

“We are, therefore, pleased to be supporting 54gene who is directly collaborating with NCDC and World Health Organisation who are coordinating Nigeria’s Covid-19 response.”

While commending Union Bank on its donation, the CEO of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong also said, “The rapid and assured response from some of Nigeria’s most reputable institutions, such as Union Bank, to join us in our fight against this deadly disease is highly welcome, and we thank them for their unwavering support.

“They, like us, understand the need for a multi-stakeholder, co-ordinated plan, that can be implemented almost immediately, as we work together as a community, side-by-side, to fight COVID-19 and protect our population.”

Last week, Union Bank, which had already been proactive in rolling out stringent safety and hygiene practices within its branches and service locations, took the lead in activating remote work for its employees, directing more than 70 percent of its employees in non-service functions to work from home starting Monday, March 23, 2020.

Union Bank also announced the launch of a toll-free Customer Care number 0800 700 700 which customers can call free of charge at anytime of the day or night to get help with banking issues.

These initiatives underscore Union Bank’s commitment to containing the spread of the virus while actively supporting the communities within which it operates

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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