The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its partners have donated 250 bed spaces and five ambulances to support the Federal Government’s efforts in containing the Coronavirus Disease pandemic in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ThisDay Dome in the Central Business District is one of the facilities that will accommodate 190-bed spaces and NNPC facility in Utako will accommodate 60 beds.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, while handing over the ambulances to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the facilities were to support Government’s efforts.
Sylva said: “This is not normal time.
“It is the COVID-19 times.
“It requires everybody’s support and collective effort.
“The Oil and gas industry will continue to support all effort that would ensure the safety of Nigerians and that is what we are doing today.
“We are handing over these ambulances and as more come, we will hand them over.
“Safety remains paramount to us in the industry.”
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said they were at the facility for on the spot assessment of the ongoing work.
Kyari said: “We are here to assess the on going work at this facility that will accommodate 190 bed space, which is supported by CECC, a construction company we all know, the private sector and the Energy group.
“We are happy to announce to you that the industry has contributed N21 billion to support what government is doing.”
Kyari noted that the second facility in Utako was solely donated by the Corporation, adding that it would back it up with oxygen, ventilators and a test laboratory to compliment what was already on ground.
“All the facilities will be ready in two weeks, but we pray that we will not need them,” he added.
Responding, Mustapha commended the Minister, the NNPC and all stakeholders for their kind gesture and noted that government was committed to ensure Nigerians were safe in this period.
He said: “We are grateful for this gesture.
“As you have heard, the facilities will be ready in two weeks.
“This is a good step in the right direction.
“We have also directed state government to make such provisions.
“We pray and hope we will not need to use them, but it is good to be prepared.
“We have seen how countries with established system were overwhelmed.
“So it is better to be over prepared.”
Mustapha said the two facilities would serve as holding bay before patients would be sent to isolation centers, assuring that the facilities would be judiciously used for Nigerians.
He noted that the Presidential Committee on COVID-19 only made request of what equipment were needed and various sectors would go through their procurement process in getting the equipment to them.
He said: “The Central Bank and corporate bodies in the banking sector have set up machinery.
“The people go through the established procurement process and give accounts to the donors.
“Ours is to provide them with the needs.”
The SGF further urged the media and all essential workers to ensure social distancing while carrying out their duties and maintain healthy hygiene as directed.