April 1st, 2020 – the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has on Wednesday 1st April, 2020 made a donation of One Billion, Four Hundred and Forty Million Leones an equivalent of ($150,000) as part of the UBA’s Foundation direct relief support to the government of Sierra Leone to the fight against COVID-19.
The donation was made at the Forecourt of the Emergency Operation Centre at Cockerill in Freetown in the full view of the Nigerian High Commissioner H.E. Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, The Minister of Defense who also doubles as the Committee Chairman of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Committee Brig Gen (Rtd.) Kellie Conteh, The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Mamadi Ngobeh Kamara, Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, the Board Chairman of UBA Abdul Sheku Kargbo, the MD/CEO of UBA (SL) Ltd. Chinedu Obeta including other senior government officials from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Media.
In delivering the donation on behalf of UBA Sierra Leone, the Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA (SL) Abdul Sheku Kargbo said that UBA Bank has always being a good friend of Sierra Leone since the Bank started it operations on July 21st 2008.
He revealed that they were extremely humbled to donate the said amount to the government and people of Sierra Leone to support the strides the government had made in the preventive measures in curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus COVID 19.
He therefore admonished everyone to follow the set precautionary measures that have been put aside by the government and health authorities.
“COVID-19 is no respecter of race, status, wealth, gender or whether a state is economically developed or under developed. It is an equal opportunity enemy that is a harbinger of tragedy and chaos wherever it goes,” he said.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA (SL) Ltd Chinedu Obeta, firstly thanked President Bio’s government for the timely and laudable measures put in place to prevent the country from recording high number of Coronavirus cases.
He disclosed that the donation would provide significant and much needed support to Sierra Leone by supplying relief materials, critical health care items, and financial support to the Government through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Committee set up by President Bio to contain the virus.
The MD/CEO added that the bank was established in 2008 and ever since in Sierra Leone, the bank has contributed significantly to the economic development of the country. Adding that the bank has 250 Sierra Leoneans employed as direct and outsourced staff, and has paid over 60 billion Leones as tax.
“UBA-SL has been at the forefront in promoting financial inclusion through its digital products, adding that plans are underway to rollout additional five branches in the next 12 months, which would subsequently create jobs” he disclosed.
Nigerian High Commissioner to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, said the whole world has found itself in a dilemma through the emergence of a devastating disease known as Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Although an index case was discovered on Tuesday, 31st March, 2020, it would have been a different story if not for President Bio’s visionary leadership in stemming this deadly virus from entering the country,” he said.
He assured the government that the government of Nigeria, through her business men and women, will continue to answer the call for assistance to Sierra Leone.
“UBA has taken the lead through this noble venture to present this token to the government and people of Sierra Leone. We hope this would go a long way in providing some basic equipment to fight the virus,” he said.
Receiving the donation on behalf of Interim Coordinator of the COVID-19 Team, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Mamadi Gobeh- Kamara registered her profound thanks and appreciation to the management and staff of the United Bank of Africa for their gesture and support in the fight against Coronavirus COVID – 19.
She noted that the donated money would be used for its intended purpose while assuring His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio government’s commitment to the prevention and spread of the Coronavirus COVID – 19 in Sierra Leone.
“This is a crucial time in the history of the world, so we need to come together as a nation and stop the spread of the Coronavirus,” she cautioned.
It’s worth mentioning that, a press release published on the 26th March, 2020 by the UBA Foundation revealed that the UBA Group Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, stated ‘This is a time when we must all play our part. This global pandemic must bring citizens, governments and business leaders together – and quickly. As we see a rapidly increasing number of cases of the coronavirus in Nigeria and Africa, the private sector has to work hand in hand with various Governments, in stemming the spread of the global pandemic. We commend the efforts of governments and we are keen to partner and contribute our resources to the collective effort, that will ensure the response to the pandemic is swift and effective’.
UBA operates in 20 African countries and globally, in the United Kingdom, the United States and France, the United Bank for Africa has a strong record of supporting its communities, through challenging times.
Credit: Corporate Communication and Marketing
UBA (SL) Ltd