The Federal Government has said it will continue to enlist the support and collaboration of oil firms and private sector players in the fight against the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), and other infectious diseases in the country.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylvia, who disclosed this at the weekend, said the Federal Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and other private individuals or corporate institutions would also synergize to tackle post-COVID-19 healthcare issues.
He spoke during the ground breaking of a $1.8million-150-200 bed space Emergency Infectious Disease Southeast Hospital, jointly being executed by NNPC and Seplat Petroleum Development Company, located at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu.
Sylva said the project is a demonstration of the Government’s interest in Imo State, and will reach out to other states in the Southeast geo-political zone under its Oil and Gas Intervention initiatives.
His words: “The NNPC, other participants in this initiative, and indigenous oil producers, in alignment with the Federal Government’s effort, is to curb the pandemic through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, and it covers the thematic areas.”
Speaking while performing the ground breaking ceremony, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, thanked the joint venture partners for the gesture, noting that the State Government has a robust policy to provide a healthcare programme to sustain the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “Consequently, the lesson learnt was never to be caught napping again by any type of infectious disease, curable or incurable; and one of such measures is the very programme of the construction of the 200-bed emergency and infectious diseases medical centre.”
In his contribution, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, represented by Bala Buntu, assured that other zones would also benefit from a simile project, and urged the people of the zone to protect the facility, promising that the NNPC would maintain the facility
if completed and furnished.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Seplat, Dr. Ambrose Orjiakor, said the joint project is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept of the company and assured of its sustained maintenance after completion.
He said: “Seplat also has helped to strengthen supplies in the hospitals; we have also made sure that the communities received certain palliatives with respect to food security during this difficult period, in addition to supplying them with essential sanitation and hygiene materials.”