By Peter Uzoho
In fulfillment of its pledge to donate 5,000 COVID-19 test kits to help in the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria, Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (SHIN) Limited has handed over the equipment to the Nigerian government.
The donation was part of the efforts of the Korean firm to help Nigeria benefit from the experience of South Korea in the global war against the virus.
Handing over the equipment to the officials of the Federal Ministry of Health in a brief ceremony held recently in Abuja with attendants from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the representative of SHIN said the gesture was part of the shipbuilding giant’s strategy of giving back to its host countries worldwide.
He said the equipment and other contributions from individuals and corporate bodies, will compliment Nigerian government’s efforts to tackle the pandemic.
The representative noted that the intervention of SHIN in the area of donation of test kits will also help Nigeria to benefit from the Korean experience in suppressing the virus.
He recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had given special commendation to South Korea for its innovative approach in tackling the virus, saying that WHO also described his country as a global model in the war against the COVID-19.
Citing a report by WHO, the SHIN representative disclosed that when South Korea was faced with surging community transmission, it refused to surrender to the pandemic but rather developed innovative testing strategies, rationed the use of masks, conducted exhaustive contact tracing and testing, and isolated suspected cases.
According to him, these efforts led to declining infections in South Korea.
The representative recalled that South Korea has received several requests for the test kits from many countries of the world.
He revealed that despite the high demand for the kits from different countries of the world, and the difficulty in securing and rationing them, SHIN was able to secure 5,000 kits for the Nigerian government because the company cares for Nigerians and also accord the country top priority in its global business. In addition to such goodwill, other Korean companies operating in Nigeria are also going to make various donations for the country.
The representative also added that SHIN felt it is part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to help the Nigerian government to tackle and mitigate the impact of the global pandemic
Commenting on the donation, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lee In Tae, said: “It is indeed great to see that a Korean firm such as SHIN has taken an initiative to donate COVID-19 test kits, which further validates the fact that the Korean Government and Korean companies operating in Nigeria truly care about Nigeria and feel the responsibility to support and help the federal government to tackle the pandemic in Nigeria. The Republic of Korea will also work closely with the Nigerian government to see any way we can support Nigeria to deal with the situation”.
SHIN has consistently given back to Nigerians over the years as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
For instance, the company has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.
Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care, an organisation under WHO, in the yearly Eye Camp to give free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the treatment.
In 2019, it sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria. In the previous Eye surgeries in 2018, 102 patients, who were at the risk of blindness, recovered their eyesight.
Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.
The company had also donated electrical equipment, clothing and other relief materials to the victims of herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks in Jos, Plateau State.
A missionary group from Korea had constructed a school in Jos for the villagers in Rhizha, where four missionaries were teaching about 560 children and also providing counselling to victims, mostly women, suffering from the trauma from Boko Haram insurgents’ attacks.