The Private Sector Initiative (NPSI), on Tuesday sought support of Nigerians to mobilised funds to support the ongoing interventions in humanitarian crisis caused by Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
The Chairman First Bank Ibukun Awosika, made the appeal during a visit to some selected Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri, Borno.
Awosika who led some partners in the leading Nigerian companies from the banking, energy and legal sectors, said it was the first-ever joint humanitarian fund in which the private sector was partnering with the UN and Nigerian business leaders to raise fund for rebuilding of north-east.
“This is the second team of the private sectors groups who came to Borno state and what we are doing is engaging with the realities on ground to enable us understand the scale of what we have on ground in order to solved the problem,” she said.
She said the joint initiative seek to harness the financial resources and expertise of Nigeria’s private sector to contribute to a more effective and timely humanitarian response in North-east.
“The situation is quite overwhelming, hearth trenching. I look at the children and i see the problems of the future if they don’t get what they really need in terms of education, healthcare support and stable family life.
“It’s a national problem, even though what we see is more of international support but traditionally as a people we are known for looking out to support for our own people.
“Apart from what the rest of the worlds are doing to help us, we should help ourselves in any layers; through political, government and through citizens decisions. It is about mobilising the whole of Nigerians to support this course.
“It doesn’t matter what part of the country we are from. This is our country, so we must bring our selves together to help our brothers and sisters and our children for the sake of our nation.
“It wasn’t about what the private sectors and First Bank can do as institutions because at the end of the day, how many are we in these institutions. For me it is about what the whole Nigerians can do to support one another.
“It is about us mobilising every single kobo from the N100, N500, N1000, N50,000, N100 million and the God knows how the funds from institutions like first bank and other sector,” she said.
On his part, Mr Biyi Ologbami, Managing Director Ecobank, said that the visit was part of the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund-Private Sector Initiative (NHF-PSI), founded in 2018; to fast track collaboration between the UN, humanitarian organisations and indigenous firms in raising funds.
Similarly, Edward Kallon, The UN Humaniterian Coordinator in Nigeria, said the partnership would go a long way to enhanced effective response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people in the northeast.