COCA-Cola and soft drinks bottler the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) has joined the growing list of private companies distributing palliatives to the population in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Across Nigeria, the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating as the lockdown has hit urban dwellers very hard. Most of Nigeria’s urban centres are dominated by petty artisans and traders who earn their living on a daily basis, so with the lockdown, they have been unable to buy food, creating a social crisis.
With public disaffection growing, the government has had to ease the lockdown and several private individuals and corporations have stepped in, offering food to the needy. NBC, the company that owns the Nigerian franchise to market Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes, Ginger Ale, Limca, Krest, Parle Soda and Five Alive, has now joined the fray.
It has started the distribution of food items to households across the country in what is the first phase of the NBC Food Relief Intervention programme. Under the scheme, over 2,000 households in 14 locations nationwide will receive essential food items, including rice, noodles and cooking oil.
NBD commenced its programme on April 30 in Ota in Ogun State and Asejire in Oyo State, where 300 beneficiaries received foodstuffs. This was then followed up, with an additional 1,050 households benefiting in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Warri, Enugu and Minna.
According to the NBC, 800 households each would also get relief packages in Benin City, Owerri, Challawa and Ikeja. Receiving some of the household supplies on behalf of 150 families in Ota, Ogun State, the chairman of Nice Estate Community Development Association, Pastor Eric Gbibgi-Jackson, commended NBC for the gesture.