NICO’s response during the first wave done for Kameza isolation centre in Blantyre
* The donation is within its values of being a responsible and responsive corporate citizen
* All sectors of the economy have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
* In understanding the gravity of the situation NICO feels it is its duty to assist in the fight
* Applauded all health workers for selflessly providing their services to save lives
By Duncan Mlanjira
NICO Group has responded to the appeal that President Lazarus Chakwera made to all stakeholders, both local and foreign in the fight against the nasty second wave of COVID-19 pandemic by donating K100 million towards the cause.
Soon after the country was hit with the from January 1 that claimed lives of many people that included two prominent Ministers — Sidik Mohammad Mia (Minister of Transport and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vice-president and Minister of Local Government, Lingson Belekanyama on on January 12 — various corporate companies responded to the President’s appeal in various ways.
NICO Group Managing Director, Vizenge Kumwenda, said they have come forward to assist once more to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc across the world, and Malawi has not been spared.
He said the NICO Group under NBS Bank and Eris Properties, believes the donation is within its values of being a responsible and responsive corporate citizen.
“The funds will be deployed towards closing some of the gaps in the health sector that have been made apparent in the midst of the pandemic,” he said.
“All sectors of the economy have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and in understanding the gravity of the situation we at NICO felt that it is our duty to assist in the fight.”
He further further said the funds will be channeled towards strengthening infrastructure gaps that have been made apparent by the pandemic.
“The aim will be to address issues that have become even more dire as a result of the pandemic,” said while at the same acknowledging the great work being done by the healthcare workers and the responses taken by other corporates to ease the pressure that the second wave of the COVID-19 has presented.
“Allow me to express gratitude to all health workers who have selflessly provided their services during this time. It has also been extremely inspiring to see various corporates and individuals who have contributed to the cause.
“This relates well with the NICO culture that we are stronger together,” he said, whilst also commending the Government in the efforts it has made in the COVID-19 fight.
“The challenges are enormous, but we believe that together, we can surmount them,” Kumwenda said.
The MK100 million donation is a continuation of donations made in kind by NICO Group during the first wave of the COVI-19 pandemic in 2020 of K94 million that was mainly used to procure medical equipment such as beds, oxygen cylinders and regulators and personal protective equipment for Kameza isolation Centre, Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mzuzu Central Hospital.
Through NICO Life and NICO Pension, the Group also donated K2 million to assist Development Aid for People to People (DAPP) Malawi in support of the organisation’s COVID-19 activities in Machinga communities where it is carrying out a nutrition programme for Under-5 children.
NICO Life and NICO Pensions also responded to a call for help from College of Medicine by donating personal protective equipment (PPEs), worth K6m to University of Malawi (UNIMA) as the constituent college was preparing for resumption of physical academic classes that were suspended as part of the preventing measures in the first wave of the pandemic.
NICO Life and Nico Pensions also donated K6 million the same College of Medicine (COM) to acquire lap tops for 30 needy of its undergraduate students, who were facing challenges to access lessons in the wake of the tertiary institution being closed.
As a leading financial services group in Malawi, NICO has supported initiatives that uplift Malawians in the areas of education, health and environmental conservation.