By Juliet Umeh
Top telecommunications operators in Nigeria, Airtel, MTN, Gobalcom and other distinguished individuals have been honoured for their corporate social responsibility, CSR, COVID-19 support for the Nigeria Center for Disease Committee, NCDC.
This is as Nigeria’s informal association in the banking, financial and allied technology sector, Fintech1000plus, recently honoured them.
Aside the telcos, other top Nigerians honoured for their contributions include: Rev. Sunday Folayan, Sola Fanawopo and other volunteers.
The awards were presented by the Managing Director Sterling Bank plc, Abubakar Suleiman and Mastercard Senior Vice President, Regional Franchise Lead (Middle East & Africa) Omoke Adebanjo, both members of Fintech1000plus.
Speaking at the virtual event, Founder Future Africa and member Fintech1000plus, Iyin Aboyeji, said the telcos and others rewarded moved into action to help NCDC weeks after COVID-19 hit Nigeria.
He said: We observed some technology challenges which the NCDC was having. They included: inability to efficiently disseminate mass media communication & information to all mobile phones concurrently, and incidence reporting which includes; tracking, tracing and citizens action points.”
According to him, “The association after discussing among its members and interacting with the NCDC decided to put together a number of front-end interfaces that will rapidly use the Covid-19 Risk Assessment triage to quickly analyze information from the public, while storing the information in a backend database for subsequent analysis and follow-up.
“The front ends were made up of; Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), USSD application in major Nigerian languages, desktop tools for web-based access, and a mobile APP. Moreover, as much as possible, make the front ends toll free or ZERO cost to the people, and for the telcos to make the portal access free for such incident response systems.
Acknowledging the outcome of the Fintech1000plus support, DG of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, commended the association, its telecom partners and volunteers for a job well done.
Ihekweazu said: “The fight against COVID-19 is not a government or public sector battle alone but that of every stakeholder of the Nigeria project. Fintech1000plus support is well appreciated and a commendable partnership from the private sector. It is our wish that such will continue, not just during this COVID-19 pandemic but in other areas in future.”