By Martins Ifijeh
The Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA) has called on corporate Nigeria to rededicate itself to fighting HIV-AIDS and other workplace health challenges.
In a media release to mark its 15th anniversary, it said though the fight against ill health in the workplace had not been totally won, NIBUCAA and its partners had made great strides against HIV/AIDS in its first 15 years, adding that it was time to consolidate on that good record.
The coalition also lauded its founding fathers, its present managers, and its 32-member partners, scattered all over the country, saying the achievements of the last 15 years could not have been possible without them.
But it added that it was time to give the cause a further boost.
Founded on 15 February 2003, after a breakfast meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and high-level corporate leaders, NIBUCAA was then established as a company limited by guarantee with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2008.
Its first co-Chairmen, Dr. Pascal Dozie, then of Diamond Bank and Jay Pryor of Chevron Nigeria, emerged from that meeting, with President Obasanjo urging them to be the drivers of the private sector, in a collaborative effort, with the federal government, to tackle the HIV/AIDS challenge in the workplace.
They were succeeded by the second co-chairmen, Dr. Hebert Wigwe, MD/CEO of Access Bank and Nicholas Terraz, MD/CEO of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd, who took over in 2017.
NIBUCAA recalled that the coalition came into existence when there was a high level of HIV-AIDS stigma and victimisation of workers; but added that with its constant seminars, pieces of training and other programmes, such negative tendencies were coming down, with a better impact on the bottom-line.
Due to its enlightenment efforts too, it has been able to generate greater awareness among the general public, so much so that the incidence of HIV had been better managed.
Announcing NIBUCAA’s latest strategic plan, Advocacy, Innovations, Partnerships and Impact Investment, the coalition calls for a greater drive and better cooperation among its present partner-members while calling on new members to join to make the workplace more health-friendly for workers.