COVID-19: MultiChoice announces N1.2bn package for Nigeria

By Amara Christa

MultiChoice Nigeria says it has put together a relief package of N1.2 billion to help fight the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, entertainment and media company announced a number of initiatives to support the efforts of the federal government as well as Lagos state.

These include cash support of N200 million to the federal government and N50 million to Lagos state, donation of 10,000 test kits to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), public service announcement COVID-19 prevention tips in English, pidgin, Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa languages as well as approved inventory worth over N550 miling highlighting the NCDC’s Covid-19 helplines and PSAs on more than 10 channels across DStv and GOtv.

The company will also cover the remuneration for engaged creative industry professionals whose productions have been disrupted with up to N400 million.

“As seen in the most hard-hit countries, the availability of test kits and supplies for medical personnel have been some of the biggest challenges in fighting the pandemic. The outbreak has also had a direct impact on individual businesses and general economic activities. Nigeria’s creative industry has been particularly affected, with ongoing productions suspended in response to government’s advisory on public gatherings and social distancing,” the company said.

“MultiChoice Nigeria’s intervention, in line with its values as a responsible corporate organisation and leader in the media and creative sector, is aimed at supporting the authorities in fighting the pandemic and reducing its attendant impact on Nigeria’s national economy.”

Adewunmi Ogunsanya, chairman of  MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “We are donating 10,000 certified test kits to support the great work being done by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health. In addition to these, we are also contributing N250 million to the Federal and Lagos State Governments’ efforts in providing adequate healthcare delivery facilities to fight Covid-19. We are doing this because we recognize the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has on Nigerians and the economy. We hope our contributions to NCDC, the Federal and State Governments, alongside other donations, will go a long way towards effective management of the outbreak.”

John Ugbe, the CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria also said: “We have committed N550million worth of inventory to public service announcements in our indigenous languages in addition to English and Pidgin to ensure that every Nigerian understands how to prevent COVID-19 or call for help through the NCDC helplines. Also, the creative industry salary payment of up toN400 million will offer a much needed financial reprieve for producers, actors, and technical talent currently contracted to MultiChoice Nigeria, whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic.”

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