NIGERIA – Kuda, a digital banking startup, in partnership with Lagos Food Bank, a non-governmental organisation that provides aid across Lagos State, has launched a COVID-19 fund to help buy and distribute food and other essentials to people badly affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic in Lagos. 

The Fund received an initial contribution of 500,000 naira from Kuda before being opened to the general public. All donations made will go to Lagos Food Bank and used to buy food and other essentials for open distribution in the city of Lagos. 

“We partnered with Lagos Food Bank because they have shown transparency, responsibility and diligence in using donations to help people in need within Lagos State,” Kuda chief executive officer (CEO) Babs Ogundeyi. 

Launched in 2016 as lending platform Kudimoney, Kuda rebranded in June of last year and received a banking licence from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to launch a full-service digital bank. 

That regulatory approval made Kuda Nigeria’s first and only full-stack and mobile-first bank, and the startup raised a US$1.6 million funding round in September to complete its launch. The bank provides full banking services through its apps, allowing Nigerians to run a current account, save money, and earn annual interest. 

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Sunday, March 29, issued placed Lagos state on lockdown for an initial 14 days. This was to help check the spread of the virus in that state. Ogun state was also included in the presidential lockdown alongside the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. 

With nearly 90 million Nigerians (50%) living in extreme poverty and many Lagosians feeding from hand to mouth, it is obvious that sustaining a lockdown requires access to food, water, medicine and a host of other necessities. 

Thus, to sustain a lockdown, citizens need all the help they can get. This makes Kuda Bank’s initiative a very laudable one. It basically gives richer Nigerians a platform to help support poorer Nigerians in this time of great need.