The Global Citizen and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has announced the imminent launch of the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) designed to provide additional support for Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The solidarity fund it is said would enable Nigerian citizens’ resident at home or in the diaspora as well as international donors to come together and directly contribute to Nigeria’s fight against the pandemic.
The fund targets four core COVID-19 response, mitigation and recovery areas including: supporting the most vulnerable populations, strengthening the domestic healthcare systems strengthening, expanding access to rural and community focused universal healthcare access and re-skilling and re-tooling for the “New Nigerian Renaissance” post COVID-19.
The stakeholders agreed that Nigeria’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic requires individual and collective commitment. “Through the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, together, and in solidarity, the nation will rebuild towards a more responsive and resilient Nigeria in the aftermath of this disaster.”
The announcement, organised as a virtual live streamed event hosted by the NSIA and chaired by the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also had the Minister of Finance, Dr. Zainab Ahmed as participant.
Representing the NSIA were the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr. Jide Zeitlin, Managing Director, Mr. Uche Orji. Whilst Global Citizen was represented by the Chief Policy Officer, Mr. Michael Sheldrick; Chairman of Global Citizen Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Folawiyo; and the Vice Chairman Global Citizen Nigeria, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.
In his remark, Osinbajo said, “the Government of Nigeria is delighted that the NSIA together with the world’s leading international advocacy organization, Global Citizen, and their partners, have embarked on a process to set up a new funding vehicle. The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) will provide support to our most vulnerable communities in the fight against COVID-19.”
On his part, Zeitlin, said, “As the sovereign wealth fund (SWF) of the most populous country on the continent, it is important for the board of the NSIA to support collaborations of this nature which further strengthens the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The unprecedented challenge posed by the outbreak demands that we embrace flexibility as never before on partnerships with the right organizations to help mobilize support for the fund as well as building sustainable systems in our communities.”
While Orji noted that COVID-19 pandemic has strained the nation’s health, social and economic systems, he said, yet our resolve to work together to contain it remains unflinching. “Against this background, we are thrilled to partner with Global Citizen in launching the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, as the fund manager.”
“Global Citizen’s ongoing commitment to the African continent and, in particular, Nigeria is motivated by two key factors: The shift in geopolitical power towards emerging markets, and the recognition that developing countries want and need to have agency over their own development, this makes a presence in the sub-Saharan region vital to the long-term success of any initiative seeking to end extreme poverty,” Sheldrick disclosed.
Adding their voices also, 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.”
“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,” Aig-Imoukhuede stated.