Edo Government has received 350,000 facemasks, 10,000 pairs of medical gloves, 18,000 pieces of testing kits, 200 cartons of disinfectant, 40 pieces of decontamination equipment, all valued at over N120 million, from the management of Yongxing Steel Company.
The company operates at Utesi, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State.
Receiving the items at the Government House, Benin City, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said the donation will complement the state government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
He expressed appreciation to the Chinese Consulate-General and Yongxing Steel Company for the gesture, assuring that the items would be effectively deployed in checking the spread of the coronavirus disease.
“Your donation is one of the largest contributions we have received in the fight against COVID-19. You have garnered experience as a nation in dealing with the pandemic and you have overcome it. We are in the middle of our own fight against the disease and have a lot to learn from you.
“We all should remain positive in the fight against the disease. Coronavirus is real. It is time to trust the government, comply with all directives and we shall overcome the disease.”
The governor added that the donation of 350,000 facemasks came at the right time, as it will help the government restock after distributing facemasks to residents during state-wide screening for coronavirus.
“The test kits donated will help fast-track the process while awaiting confirmation from the laboratory. Our goal is to test 15,000 and screen 500,000 people. 10,000 pieces of medical gloves would be helpful to our medical officers as they do their best to combat the scourge.”
Presenting the items, the Deputy Managing Director, Yongxing Steel Company, Frank Wang, said the donation will support the state government in checking the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the move to mobilise resources from eminent captains of industry who hail from the state, has gotten a major boost with more businessmen stepping up to support the government’s fundraising efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Some of the companies that have expressed commitment to the fund include the Chairman, Starz Group, Greg Ogbeifun; Founder, GT Foods, Elder Pius Omofuma; Chairman, Nosak Group, Anthony Ogunbor; Chief Operating Officer (CEO), Sam & Sam International Limited, Sam Awiaka, among others.
The inaugural meeting of the Edo State COVID-19 Fundraising Committee held virtually, where some of these key actors expressed their support for the government’s fundraising efforts.
Elder Omofuma said the state government has been impressive in its handling of the pandemic, noting that the effort to mobilise sons and daughters of the state to contribute to the fund was a masterstroke.
He noted that the input of the private sector in mobilising resources would go a long way to provide the necessary buffer for government’s intervention plans, especially the relief for the most vulnerable persons in the state.
For Awiaka, there was need to ensure that security agencies in the state are well equipped to checkmate the influx of people from other states into Edo State.