COVID-19: FG, Global Citizen Launch New Funding Vehicle

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By Martins Ifijeh

As part of additional support to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Global Citizen have launched a new funding vehicle for the country, tagged: the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF).

The fund will enable Nigerian citizens resident at home or in the diaspora as well as international donors pool funds together and directly contribute to Nigeria’s fight against the pandemic.

Announcing this during a virtual meeting hosted by the NSIA weekend, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the fund will provide support to Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities in the fight against COVID-19.

He said: “Nigeria is delighted that the NSIA, together with the world’s leading international advocacy organisation, Global Citizen, and their partners, have embarked on a process to set up a new funding vehicle. This will go a long way to addressing the present challenges,” he added.

The Managing Director, NSIA, Uche Orji said the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the nation’s health, social and economic systems, adding that the nation’s resolve to work together to contain it remains unflinching.

Orji said: “Against this background, we are thrilled to partner with Global Citizen in launching the NSSF, as the fund manager.

“Given the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic, both in its impact and severity, it is clear that this is a challenge that the public sector cannot tackle alone. The virus can only be defeated through careful coordination and collaborative efforts of the public sector, private sector, and philanthropists. As the pandemic’s impact is unprecedented; so too is the commitment of Nigerians both at home and abroad who have rallied to help one another and stand in solidarity against this deadly virus.”

He said NSSF will be incorporated as a nongovernment charitable foundation, adding that in line with global best practices, it will be professionally managed and transparently governed through a strong advisor board comprising eminently qualified men and women to ensure that the funds were effectively used and properly accounted for.

The Chairman, Global Citizen Nigeria, Tunde Folawiyo said: “As we embark upon our work in Nigeria, Global Citizen will mobilize Nigerians, Nigerians in the diaspora, global partners, together with the philanthropic and private sectors in our nation’s fight against COVID-19.”

On his part, Vice -Chairman Global Citizen Nigeria, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said: “Our efforts must ensure that we are able to envision and meet the demands that will emerge in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is imperative as the nation adjusts to the realities of a changing economy, transitions to a “new normal” and embraces the Nigeria of the future.”

It is believed the fund will target four core COVID-19 response, mitigation and recovery areas including; supporting the most vulnerable populations, strengthening the domestic healthcare systems, expanding access to rural and community focused universal healthcare access, and re-skilling and re-tooling for the “New Nigerian Renaissance” post COVID-19.