Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has rejected 10 vehicles donated to COVID-19 management last week by ExxonMobil for contact.
The oil giant had, last Friday, donated what was termed “WHO-standard RNA COVID-19 test kits for 1,920 tests, 1,000 units of sample collection kits, two brand new ambulances, and 15 other vehicles” to the state government.
Secretary to the Government (SSG), Emmanuel Ekuwem, who represented Governor Udom Emmanuel on the occasion, had thanked the oil company for donating the equipment and items worth millions of naira to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
But barely two days after, the state government rejected the vehicles, saying the decision was based on its evaluation of the vehicles and every other thing donated by the oil company.
“The vehicles are considered too old and not in good operational conditions to withstand the rigours of contact tracing which they were meant to serve.
“However, The state government accepted the two ambulances and 20 hospital beds also donated by the oil company, despite the fact that the ambulances are converted buses while the beds are below the standard of those currently in secondary healthcare facilities in the state.
“The Akwa Ibom State government appreciates the continued support of corporate bodies and private individuals who have so far made cash or other materials donations towards the fight against COVID-19 in the state.”
ExxonMobil Managing Director in Nigeria, Paul McGrath, during the donation last weekend, said the firm was partnering the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders on ways to halt the spread of coronavirus.
He said ExxonMobil’s donation was part of an oil and gas industry’s effort as coordinated by the NNPC to provide medical supplies, deploy additional equipment and support medical infrastructure as well as in-patient treatment.