Companies operating in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry on Thursday handed over of six ambulances as well as medical kits to the South West states, as part of efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Oil and Gas Sector Coalition against COVID-19, led by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had last month pledged to contribute N21 billion to the fight against the virus.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who presented the donations on behalf of the NNPC and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), comprising of 26 indigenous oil companies, to the states in Lagos said besides the six ambulances, the states would also get thousands of testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment, including face masks, body suits, hand gloves and sanitisers.
He explained that similar donations had earlier been made by the Oil and Gas Sector in Abuja, Rivers and Bayelsa states, adding that collaboration was needed to defeat the novel Coronavirus.
He added that similar items would also be delivered to Kano and Katsina states, stressing that in line with the Oil and Gas Intervention Initiative’s plan of establishing permanent and sustainable medical infrastructure in each of the geopolitical zones in the coming days, the industry would be conducting a groundbreaking activity for the building of emergency and infectious diseases hospitals in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
According to him, the gesture would be extended to all states of the federation in line with the mandate of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 within the coming weeks.
The items donated to Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo and Ondo states were received by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who is a member of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
On his part, Dr. Mamora commended the initiative of the Oil and Gas Sector in the fight against COVID-19.
“I thank you very much on behalf of the PTF and I know that posterity will be kind to you for standing up to be counted during this critical period.
“These donations will help fortify our healthcare system. Nigeria and Nigerians will not forget you for your noble effort”, he said.
Also speaking on behalf of the South West governors, Sanwo-Olu said the donation would be used to support the critical infrastructure that was a challenge to the healthcare Industry.
He said: “I want to assure you that we will put it to judicious use and we will ensure that all the items are delivered to their respective states. They will go immediately to the front line and will be deployed to ensure that our people get well and come out of this pandemic alive”.
IPPG Chairman, Mr Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, said the group, made up of indigenous oil firms, was working towards procuring 5 million face masks, 100, 000 test kits, 12 ambulances, ventilators, beddings and overalls for health workers.
He said the group would also donate one isolation unit in a location to be advised by the NNPC and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and molecular labs in some parts of the country.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Mr. Bala Wunti, Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) who is also Coordinator of the Initiative, said the initiative of the Oil and Gas Sector was based on an informed business interest, noting that If economic activities were down, there would be no need for oil and gas.
“We are at a crossroad today and that is why the Industry made an informed decision to come together to do what is right to help Nigeria mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.”