Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
As part of their efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic in the country, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company have entered into collaboration to construct a 200-bed permanent emergency and infectious disease hospital for the Southeast in Orlu, Imo State.
Chairman of Seplat, Ambrose Orjiakor disclosed this yesterday in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the project, which he said would be completed in 18 months.
According to Orjiakor, the project, which is sited at the Imo State University Teaching hospital complex, Orlu, is expected to gulp $1.2 million when completed.
He disclosed that the hospital would not only be for the fight against Coronavirus disease, but also to complement the efforts of other hospitals in the state in the various infectious diseases treatment.
Governor Hope Uzodinma while thanking the NNPC and Seplat, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari, for siting the project in the state expressed optimism that when the medical facility is completed, the state would have an edge in the battle against any ravaging disease.
“The establishment of the specialist hospital will save lives and make people healthy, the Coronavirus has taught us a lesson, never to be caught napping again, it will be curable and not incurable.
“We are glad that the lesson learnt has inspired us to prevent such disease from affecting people in future. We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for agreeing to erect the edifice in the state, I also thank the management for allowing the state to be the first beneficiary of the project, people should be rest assured that the much awaited prevention and control of the disease is here in the state.” Uzodinma stated.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said that the project was an action taken to support the national health care delivery programme of the Federal Government.
Sylva explained that 21 states would be benefitting from the scheme, which he said is as a result of the presidential directive to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, to contain the spread of the virus.