The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria has executed her one hundred million-naira (N100m) intervention to support individuals, businesses and government in responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
According to a statement by the firm, the COVID-19 intervention fund tagged “PwC Cares” is in line with the firm’s purpose of building trust in society and solving important problems and consists of a number of initiatives targeted at various sections of society including vulnerable households, health workers and small businesses. The firm is also leveraging her depth of knowledge and resources especially around business and the economy to support governments both at the federal and states level in their economic response to the challenges posed by the Corona Virus situation.
Providing details on the various aspects of the PwC Cares initiative, Uyi Akpata, Country and Regional Senior Partner for PwC in West Africa noted:
“As well as having serious implications for people’s health and the healthcare services, COVID-19 is having a significant impact on businesses and the economy particularly for Nigeria at this time given our dwindling resources and high level of poverty.
“As a firm, we are supporting a number of initiatives aimed at addressing the health and economic challenges in Nigeria. Notably we are supporting the CBN led Coalition Against COVID-19 by the setup of a Project Management Office and providing project monitoring and evaluation support valued at about 50 Million in the first instance.
“We are also providing food items to at least 5,500 vulnerable households, as well as personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline healthcare workers in the following states; Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Kano and the FCT.”
The firm noted that the donations of food items and medical materials which is valued at 50 million was made possible through voluntary donations from her Partners, staff and alumni community who have risen to the occasion in line with the firm’s value of Care and her agenda of having greater societal purpose.
This is in addition to pro bono complementary business continuity support services to small businesses employing between 5 to 50 employees who undertake to retain all their staff during this period.
Part of the provisions made by the professional service firm include; N50m food items to vulnerable households and hospital supplies, funds polled from donations from Partners, staff and alumni, N50 million worth of project monitoring and evaluation support to the private sector led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
It also set up a Knowledge Centre to support Federal and State governments in their economic responses to the pandemic.
Commenting further on the firm’s plans, Akpata added:
“It is clear that we still have a long way to go and we continue to learn to deal with the challenges. Therefore, now more than ever before, we see that partnerships between stakeholders especially between public and private sector, is key to success.
“This is why in addition to the 100 million fund, we have also set up a Covid-19 Knowledge Centre accessible via our website to support Federal and State governments in their economic responses to the pandemic.”
The firm has demonstrated her clear intentions and resolve to help organizations and government respond to the pandemic and has hosted a series of free webinars on the economic implications and policy responses to COVID-19 during which it shares key insights on the situation, providing various response scenarios and generally engaging the business community on how to remain resilient through the crisis.
This gesture has inspired calls for other corporate organizations to do more to help in the fight against the virus. Small businesses are an integral part of any strong economy and deserve special attention in times of economic downturns like this.
The Nigerian government has doled out N50 billion intervention fund under the Targeted Credit Facility, but it is apparently not enough to assist the number of small businesses that have been put in financial strain by COVID-19.
Household needs have also risen to all time high as government palliatives are failing to measure up. The situation has so far created two areas of need that calls for support from individuals, public and the private sector. The PwC’s initiative offers employment support for firms struggling to avoid layoffs, offering a lifeline to individuals who may have been affected by the pandemic.