The donation was made into a fund set up by 54gene, an African genomics research, services and development company working closely with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the bank, the money will help increase Covid-19 testing capacity in the country by up to 1,000 additional tests a day, by buying testing instruments and critical biosafety materials such as biosafety cabinets and personal protective equipment urgently needed to keep frontline healthcare workers safe.
The bank stated that the procured equipment will be installed in general hospitals and laboratories across the country, and will remain in place even after the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, to be used in the case of future outbreaks.
In addition, there will also be extensive training and support to medical practitioners and volunteers working across the country to curb the menace.
Announcing the donation, Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Emeka Emuwa, said community is one of the core values at the bank noting that there is no better time to live this value than now.
According to him, a critical need for the country at this time is to scale up its testing capabilities and give a better chance of slowing the spread of the virus.
“We are therefore pleased to be supporting 54gene who is directly collaborating with NCDC and World Health Organisation who are coordinating Nigeria’s Covid-19 response,” Emuwa said.
While commending Union Bank on its donation, Chief Executive Officer, 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong said the rapid and assured response from some of Nigeria’s most reputable institutions, such as Union Bank, to join the fight against this deadly disease is highly welcome.
“They, like us, understand the need for a multi-stakeholder, co-ordinated plan, that can be implemented almost immediately, as we work together as a community, side-by-side, to fight Covid-19 and protect our population,” Emuwa said.
Last week, Union Bank, which had already been proactive in rolling out stringent safety and hygiene practices within its branches and service locations, took the lead in activating remote work for its employees, directing more than 70 per cent of its employees in non-service functions to work from home starting Monday, March 23, 2020.
Union Bank also announced the launch of a toll-free customer care number 0800 700 700 which customers can call free of charge at anytime of the day or night to get help with banking issues.
Emuwa said these initiatives underscored Union Bank’s commitment to containing the spread of the virus while actively supporting the communities within which it operates.