By Nkiru Nnorom
The humanitarian crisis in the North-east part of the country has received the attention of the United Nations (UN) Nigerian Humanitarian Fund- Private Sector Initiative (NHF-PSI) made up of some key private sector operators, as they have initiated moves to galvanize a new wave of donor support for the displaced persons in the volatile region.
The initiative is being championed by Oando Plc, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, among other private sector companies.
As part of the effort, the NHF-PSI, led by Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc and Secretary of the Steering Group of NHF-PSI, undertook the first ever collective tour of two IDP camps in Maiduguri, Borno State to have a first-hand assessment of the situation at the IDP camps.
Speaking at the tour of the camps, Wale Tinubu said: “This initiative is about Nigerians helping each other. Today, I have witnessed some of the most vulnerable people; women and children in the direst circumstances. Having seen the magnitude of their humanitarian needs, it is obvious that it is not a task that the government or anyone agency can take on alone.
“Now, more than ever, there is a global realisation that collaboration, convening and cooperation are the only path to creating the society we desire. The realisation that no one person, group or authority has all the answers, but we achieve so much more when we explore ways of combining forces, innovating and working together. We, as private sector leaders, have a collective responsibility to lend our diverse resources to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Nigerians. The onus is on us to use our position to repair, nurture, build and sustain our society and pave a path for a truly inclusive economy.”
In his remarks, Edward Kallon, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, said: “The humanitarian community has been working tirelessly to provide shelter, food, health care and other basic needs for families who have been left with little or nothing. To see directors of banks and energy companies show compassion for the mothers and fathers, daughters and sons affected by this crisis brings a new beacon of hope for people who have endured so much. Together with the leading business minds in Nigeria, there is so much more we can do, for Nigeria’s most vulnerable people.”
The NHF-PSI, made up of fourteen leading private sector companies in different sectors of the economy, was launched in November 2018 to pool donations and resources from the private sector as well as donor countries to create a more collaborative and effective response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in North-east Nigeria. The body to date has raised $83 million in contributions and pledges.