Airtel Nigeria on Sunday announced a commitment of over N1.9 billion towards the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Providing a breakdown of the pledged sum, Airtel said N200 million would go towards provision of an Isolation Center or any required Medical Facility agreed with the appropriate Health Authority in the Country, and another N120 million towards provision of over 100,000 respiratory masks for health workers across the country.
The telco is also offering free Short Message Services (SMS) to customers across all networks, worth over N1 billion, as well as free data for customers to access educational and health sites worth about N500 million. The sites include those of Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Center for Disease Control on COVID-19.
The company had a few weeks ago, commenced a multi-million-naira educational awareness campaign to sensitize Nigerians on steps to take to prevent spread of the virus. Airtel says that it is also committing about N100m to support the NCDC, Port Health Services and the 36 States, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on provision of toll-free lines to help in the fight against COVID-19 and to connect the NCDC’s offices nationwide with Broadband services.
“Our Employees are not left out. They have voluntarily contributed N20 million to be donated to Lagos State Government during the week for provision of food items to needy families during this crisis,” the company stated.
Commenting on the efforts of the organization to join well-meaning Nigerians and corporate entities to stop the spread of COVID-19, Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer and managing director of Airtel Nigeria, said Airtel is deeply connected with the feelings of every Nigerian at this time, noting that it is inspired to act and continue to go the extra-mile to ensure a stop to the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
“As a key stakeholder in Nigeria, we are committed to supporting government at every level in stopping the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to intensify our efforts and support as we leverage our technology and network to bring relief and succor to Nigerians at this trying time. We have an obligation to support our communities in fighting this virus and I have no doubt in my mind that we will succeed.” he said.
Airtel has commenced the educational awareness campaign, which includes rendering Public Service Announcements in local languages including Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. The nationwide awareness campaign went live on Tuesday, 24th March 2020.
Acknowledging Airtel’s donations to the Port Health Services, Morenike Alex-Okoh, the director of Nigeria’s Port Health Services commended Airtel Nigeria for pledging its support immediately the request was made and indeed fulfilling the promise within a short space of time.
“We are inspired by the show of corporate social responsibility by Airtel and look forward to similar support from other organizations not only to the Port Health Services but to the overall effort to fight the Coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
Airtel has also partnered with leading e-learning platforms to offer data-free access to their sites, empowering young Nigerians to benefit from quality education during the COVID-19 period.
These leading e-learning platforms include Oyo State Government’s e-learning portal and services; ULesson, a leading e-learning platform offering lessons for SS1-SS3 in the STEM subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry) and Myschool.ng, a leading exam preparation platform for SSCE, JAMB, NECO.
Others are PASS.NG, a leading exam preparation platform for SSCE, JAMB, NECO, Common Entrance, ICAN, JSCE, N-Power) and Screenclass, an emerging learning platform offering tutorials in key subjects for Junior & Senior Secondary School, Common Entrance.
Airtel has also assured that its priority during this COVID-19 period will be the wellbeing and safety of all its employees, customers, their family as well as every Nigerian.
“At this point, we know that our first priority must be you and your family’s health and well-being, and we hope you stay safe and healthy. At the same time, our hearts go out to those at the front line: medical staff and caregivers who put themselves at risk to do all it takes to serve others.
“In much the same way, we at Airtel also accept that we provide an essential service – keeping our customers and the country connected. Therefore, we are doing everything we can to keep our employees and partners safe as they connect you with your businesses and loved ones. We know there is a great responsibility on us as connectivity providers, to do what it takes to keep you connected during this crisis,” Ogunsanya said