NSE Unveils N100m Support For Fight Against COVID-19

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Thursday, said it has earmarked N100m support for the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria, split between the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC) and the “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign.
A statement the exchange said while the CMSCC, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led committee comprising members of the capital market community set up to enable it to play an active role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, will receive N60m, the balance N40m will be devoted to the “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign.
The “Masks For All Nigerians” campaign, the statement explained, will see the NSE donate over 100,000 reusable face masks to states most affected by COVID-19.
In addition, The Exchange said it will run an enlightenment programme on the safe use of masks on traditional and social media.
This initiative, it stressed, comes against the backdrop of a growing call for the use of masks as an effective measure in slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially given the increasing body of evidence that the use of masks by the populace could slow the spread of coronavirus, several countries, including the United States of America, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada, and Nigeria to name a few, have adopted this control measure.
The statement quoted the NSE’s Chief Executive, Oscar Onyema, as saying that the Exchange recognizes “the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians and the need to adopt more proactive steps in stemming the tide. In line with our tradition of supporting the communities where we operate, we have launched the Masks For All Nigerians campaign to ensure that protective masks get into the hands of citizens in the more vulnerable places.
“Through our media enlightenment engagement, we will raise awareness on the proper use of masks, continue to encourage adherence to the guidelines that have been provided by relevant agencies, and emphasize that wearing masks alone is not enough protective measure against COVID-19. We have also been deliberate with this intervention by patronising local manufacturers in our efforts to support indigenous businesses, who we have mandated to comply with the mask production specifications provided by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC),” Onyema added.
For Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, President of the National Council, NSE, Nigeria is “facing an unprecedented existential threat that requires us to adopt a more collaborative approach in fighting this pandemic, especially where social interaction is inevitable.
“As we work to encourage the use of Personal Protective Equipment through adequate production and distribution of reusable face masks, we call on the capital market ecosystem to support this initiative by wearing a mask when in public settings and donating masks especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid so as to protect lives leading to the reactivation of our economy.”
The Masks For All Nigerians campaign and the donation of masks, the stated stressed, will provide immense support to enable the Government to reach communities that have hitherto been left vulnerable.
On its part, the NSE said it has continued to support remote working and trading; promote market deepening activities; create an enabling regulatory environment for stakeholders; and recognise the efforts of public and private sector players in raising awareness, ramping up testing and increasing the capacity of the health sector to slow the spread of COVID-19.