The Coca-Cola System, comprising Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, has restated its commitment to support the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria with material donations to the federal and state governments.
NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria in fulfilment of the commitment, have already donated over 13 million centilitres of its beverages, including Eva premium table water and other soft drinks to provide hydration and nourishment for patients and healthcare workers at Isolation and Treatment Centres across different states in the country. Both companies also promised to continue to donate these products through the duration of this crisis.
In Lagos, the Isolation and Treatment Centres and frontline institutions that have received the donated materials include the Onikan Centre, the Gbagada Centre, Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) whose street sweepers and medical waste workers are still actively working during the pandemic.
In a letter to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Managing Director of NBC, Matthieu Seguin, explained that it was standard practice for it to support communities during emergencies.
He praised both the Federal and Lagos State Governments for their efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus and providing quality medical care for confirmed cases.
“We appreciate the measures deployed so far to curtail the spread of the virus and the medical care currently provided for confirmed cases in the State. We fully support these commendable measures and will continue to work hard to meet the hydration needs of Nigerians, which is critical at this stage of the crisis,” Seguin said.
Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Yebeltal Getachew added: “As a company that is closely connected with consumers and deeply rooted in communities, we see the unprecedented impact of this pandemic on the country first-hand. We applaud the heroism of our healthcare workers and commend the government for its increasingly effective measures. We are appealing for everyone to come together at this time so we can defeat this pandemic with a single-minded focus.”
Receiving the first set of donated items on behalf of the Lagos State Government at the Onikan Treatment Centre, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Olusegun Dawodu, thanked the Nigerian Bottling Company for the initiative, saying that the gesture shows that the company is indeed a perceptive brand that understands the specific needs of the community where it does business.
Said Dawodu: “Bottled water in its purest state of hygiene like the Eva water is a critical need of the patients undergoing treatment at this time. Water is vital in the treatment of COVID-19. It helps in rehydrating infected persons. We appreciate the Nigerian Bottling Company for rising to the occasion at this crucial moment.”
Apart from the beverage donation, Seguin disclosed that NBC is also working with some of its major restaurant partners to provide meals to healthcare professionals and others fighting on the frontlines.
NBC and Coca-Cola have also resolved to support the Federal Ministry of Health move essential materials for Coronavirus containment to different locations across the country using their distribution trucks.
Coca-Cola and NBC had earlier suspended all commercial advertising of their products in Nigeria. They channelled their committed media assets, as well as social media, handle to help boost public sensitization on preventive practices as well as promote hope and optimism among the public.
In addition, both companies have also supported the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC to develop risk communication materials for use to complement the government’s public education and mobilization initiatives for the Coronavirus outbreak.
Both companies are also providing safety guidance to trade and distribution partners, as well as a partnership with a leading e-commerce platform for free delivery of products to consumers in states under partial or total lockdown.
“We will continue to build on these efforts, to increase the support we give to communities, both in the form of financial donations through NGOs who are leading the relief, as well as the donation of products to those on the frontline,” Getachew added.
Other states that have so far taken delivery of the donations include FCT, Edo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Lagos, Anambra, Delta and Ekiti while others are lined for the coming days. Other Isolation and Treatment Centres that have received the support include the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta.