Fred Itua, Abuja
To assist Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19 through accelerated testing, the Flour Mills of Nigeria Group (FMN), has distributed 35,000 testing kits to Kano, Lagos and other states.
The distribution of kits which was done through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), was targeted at states mostly in need of the kits.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the group chief operating officer, Boye Olusanya, said that the distributed kits were part of the $1.5 million COVID-19 equipment and kits procured by company to assist Nigeria.
He said the company had already ordered an additional 25,000 test kits to beef up its distribution and to reach other states that had yet to be supported.
According to a breakdown of distribution made available to newsmen, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) got 13,000 test kits delivered to NCDC’s National Reference Laboratory in Gaduwa and its Defence Reference Laboratory.
A total of 10,000 kits were delivered to Lagos state: 3,000 to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, 3,000 to 54 Gene Research, 2,000 to the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research and 2,000 to the Lagos Biobank Laboratory.
In Kano, 5,000 kits were distributed to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and the Bayero University Kano. The state was also supported with a ‘Lab in A Box’ which is used for rapid testing in remote locations.
For Kaduna state, 1,500 kits were delivered to the DNA Laboratory while the Irrua Teaching Hospital in Edo got 1,000 test kits.
Oyo State’s University College Hospital Virology Laboratory got 2,000 kits while the African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemers University in Osun state got 1,000 kits.
According to Olusanya, apart from the $1.5m equipment and kits as well as the additional 25,000 kits already ordered, FMN’s Chairman Mr John Coumantaros had also redeemed his pledge of N1 billion to the government and released N400m for food reliefs to Nigerian communities.
He stressed that the Agro-based giant which had operated for 60 years in Nigeria, was poised to help the nation beef up its response to Covid-19 and also support poor communities with food supplies.
“To reduce the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, FMN will continue to work with the Federal Government and related agencies to provide relief materials. This includes a fresh order of 25,000 test kits, bring the total number of test kits donated to the Nigerian Government by the FMN Group to 60,000.
“The safety of Nigerians is paramount to us, so we encourage all Nigerians to adhere to the necessary protective measures against the virus and its spread,” he said.