By Ifeoma Asika
Nigeria’s biggest food business and agro-allied group, Flour Mills Nigeria(FMN) Group, mandated by its unwavering commitment, sense of duty to Nigeria spanning the past 60 years, has thrown its weight behind the war on the coronavirus(COVID-19), by redeeming a US$2.8 million pledge to the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
FMN has weathered herculean supply chain challenges to procure US$1.5 million worth of medical supplies for Nigeria which will rapidly beef up the Nigerian COVID-19 testing capability and commenced deployment of a US$840,000 food relief packages to vulnerable communities in 12 states across the country.
Ever Since the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality in Nigeria, the Federal government has been motivated to prepare a comprehensive response and mobilise resources to curtail the spread of the virus. To achieve this, the Nigeria private sector would need to get involved, get productive and deliver tangible support to the government. Nigeria currently has 373 confirmed cases, 11 deaths and 99 recoveries from the COVID-19 virus thus far.
The COVID-19 scourge has also necessitated global economies to implement restrictions to ensure their frontline responders have sufficient medical supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE) to combat the virus. As such, supply chain of medical supplies in these unprecedented times has been severely impacted globally.
In response to this challenge, FMN initiated a global supply chain plan to help provide the Nigerian Government with tangible, and tactical support during the global economic lockdown. This initiative was spearheaded by the philanthropic Industrialist and Chairman of the FMN Group, John Coumantaros.
Planning involved the leadership of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), vendors from 5 Nations, multiple logistics partners, and a tireless team drawn from the FMN group’s operational leadership. The team scaled through varying national restrictions on medical supply procurement, limited stock, transport restrictions, but stayed resolute in the race to help Nigeria manage and flatten the curve.
The medical supplies being facilitated include:
- 331,000 pieces of PPE (N95 Masks, Coveralls, Protective gloves, Protective eyewear) enough to provide regular use for 10,000 Nigerian health care professionals over two months.
- 35,000 laboratory-based testing capacity
- 100/day field-testing capacity
- 75 Ventilators to be distributed through the NCDC
Group Chief Operating Officer, Boye Olusanya, in a statement by the to kick off the FMN COVID-19 response action said: “To reduce the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, FMN will continue to work with the Federal Government and related agencies to provide relief materials. 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.”