OBJ, Wigwe, Terraz, Others Call For Collaborative Efforts To Combat HIV/AIDS In Nigeria

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By OKECHUKWU PEACE
It is no longer news that there is need to have an urgent, coordinated and sustained response to combat HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. This, can only be result driven when there are early government-led efforts that seeks to help coordinate public and private sector activities as well as the arrival of significant international funding.
In a bid to hasten intervention and prevent explosion of HIV/AIDS in the country, the Nigeria Business Coalition Against AIDS (Nibucaa) would be inagurating Co-chairs that would help pave way or assistance and grants to organizations engaged in activities connected with the furtherance of rehabilitating people with HIV/AIDS related cases.
The inauguration ceremony would have in attendance former Nigerian Army General and former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the guest of honor.
To be inaugurated as co-chairs of Nibucca are; the Current CEO and Group managing director of Access Bank, Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe and Managing Director and Chief Executive of Total, Mr. Nicolas Terraz.
It is apt to note that the urgency in efforts to address the devastating global impact of HIV/AIDS is of high importance and relevance to businesses as well as economic growth, thus, opportunities to make major inroads against the infectious disease, are being featured at dinner cum inauguration ceremony dedicated exclusively to HIV/AIDS.
Organised by Nibucca and sponsored by Access Bank, Nibucca represents the voice of the Nigerian private sector response to HIV and AIDS on the premise that businesses have collective leadership role to play in the wide multi-sectoral response to the pandemic and other related ailments.
The dinner seeks to bring political leaders, advocates, health workers, top notch business men and woman as well as intellects from the Civil Society Organisations to address the policy, scientific, and advocacy components of efforts to expand and speed the global AIDS response.
As well as bring together experts to collaborate, partner and in return advance knowledge and innovation on curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, promote and share best practices to reinvigorate the response as well as galvanize political leadership and commitment to end the prevalence of the cankerworm.
Although first two cases of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria were identified in 1985 and were reported at an international AIDS conference in 1986. In fact, a 2015 report by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) says, “Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world.1 Although HIV prevalence among adults is remarkably small (3.1%) compared to other sub-Saharan African countries such as South Africa (19.2%) and Zambia (12.9%), the size of Nigeria’s population means 3.5 million people were living with HIV in 2015″
The idea behind the inauguration and well as the committee structure is basically to stand in gap for the  voiceless as far as HIV/AIDs is concerned as well as build formidable team that would inspire further advocacy intervention, thereby, bringing the effect of the menace to nothing in the society.
The Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NiBUCAA) is a Business Membership Organization (BMO) established on February 15, 2003, as the voice of the private sector response to HIV and AIDS in Nigeria. NiBUCAA was set up to position the private sector in capitalizing on their unique strengths and proficiencies to HIV program areas and mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS in the workplace and society in general. NiBUCAA was put together on the premise that businesses have collective leadership roles to play in the multi-sectoral response to HIV and AIDS, led by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
The Coalition believes the workplace represents a very good assistance; platform where information on prevention, care and support programmes can be disseminated. Our collective effort, like any other national business coalition elsewhere, is geared towards reversing the trend of the HIV epidemic, mobilizing and empowering businesses to take effective steps on HIV and AIDS within and outside the workplace. In other words, we strive to help members in their individual and collective efforts to lessen the effect of the horrendous impacts/burdens. The organized business environment offers a unique opportunity to engage millions of employees and empower them with the capacity to address the growing challenges.

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