UN/Oando, Others Raises Fund For Humanitarian Project In North East

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Yemisi Izuora 

The United Nations (UN) Nigerian Humanitarian Fund- Private Sector Initiative (NHF-PSI), headed by Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive of Oando PLC, is mobilising funds and awareness for to support humanitarian initiative in North East.

Already, $83 million has been raised in contributions and pledges, mostly coming from donor countries like Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Iceland, Canada, Spain, Luxembourg, the Arab Gulf Program for Development, Malta, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka. 

The NHF provides an opportunity for donor countries to pool their contributions to deliver a stronger collective response based on the realization that the Government of Nigeria cannot fight this battle alone.

To amplify humanitarian assistance, the UN NHF-PSI initiative was launched in November 2018 at the Oando Wings Event Space.  The NHF-PSI is a groundbreaking global initiative and a first for the UN, that will see the private sector join donor countries in pooling donations and resources together to create a more collaborative and effective response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in North-east Nigeria.  

The NHF-PSI is made up of fourteen leading private sector companies in different sectors of the economy. Setting the pace for the oil and gas industry, is indigenous leader, Oando PLC, whose GCE serves as the Secretary of the Steering Group of NHF-PSI as well as Seplat Petroleum.

 In the banking sector, Zenith Bank, Eco Bank, First Bank and Access Bank have keyed into the project with the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, serving as Co-Chair of the Steering Group. 

The FMCG sector us made up firms like Nestle and Unilever, the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) whose past chairman Kyari Bukar is also a Co-Chair of the Steering Group, and Templars Law, who have all elected to ‘Invest in Humanity’ as NHF-PSI founder donors and act as advocates proactively raising awareness of the plight of Nigerians in the North-east. 

The NHF-PSI is founded on the premise that Nigeria’s private sector not only cares profoundly for its nation’s most vulnerable, but also possesses the vision, resources and natural problem-solving ability to reduce it on an unprecedented scale if harnessed into collective action.

To assess the situation firsthand, on May 14, 2019, the GCE of Oando led a delegation that included Herbert Wigwe, Managing Director of Access Bank andKyari Bukar on a  tour of two IDP camps in Maiduguri, Borno. Also a part of the tour and representing the United Nations were Edward Kallon, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria and Edem Wosornu, Director, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

The objectives of the tour was also to raise awareness of the plight of the millions of people in the North-east, and more directly galvanize a new wave of donor support for the initiative from businesses and individuals across the country.  In addition to visiting the IDP camps the delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Governor.

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