By Gabriel Olawale
LAGOS—Stakeholders have tasked researchers, health care professionals and the global community not to relent in ensuring reduction in spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
Making the appeal at the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS, NIBUCCA, high impact CEO partnership dinner, Executive Secretary, NiBUCCA, Gbenga Alabi said the private sector should partner with NIBUCAA in its drive to eradicate HIV/AIDS from Nigeria, quoting Juan Somavia, a former Director General of the International Labour Organization, he said two out of three people living with HIV or AIDS go to work everyday, making the workplace s vital entry point for tackling the menace.
Alabi said NIBUCAA which currently comprises 36 leading businesses across the country is committed to fighting the menace at all levels, and represents the voice of Nigerian private sector response to HIV/AIDS, hence, the coalition which seeks to build a public-private partnership with government, civil society organisation and international donor communities, among other objectives, will promote activities encouraging demand for HIV voluntary confidential counselling and testing in the workplace.
“Nigeria’s greatest assets and investment opportunity is its human capital, therefore, all hands must be on deck at ensuring that the human capital, which is the country’s source of economic growth and development be protected and enlightened about the menace of AIDS/HIV,” Alabi added.
To further buttress his point, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe in the same vein urged operators in the private sector to join hands in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Wigwe, Co-Chair of the Board of NIBUCAA said that the scourge of HIV/AIDS still persists in the country with Nigeria having the second largest AIDS population in the world.
“We have to realise that HIV/AIDS is not just a health problem, it is a developmental challenge. Therefore, the private sector cannot afford to be complacent with regards to the scourge.