- Posted by Editor
- On May 9, 2020
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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has commended the federal government and the drive by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its joint venture partners to combat COVID-19 through the consolidation and improvement of medical facilities.
Diri gave the commendation at the groundbreaking ceremony of a 200-bed medical facility initiated by NAOC and sited in Bayelsa to cover the South South region.
The governor said the event is not only significant but also restates and demonstrates the necessary co-operation and social responsibility that must exist for the oil and gas industry as well as other businesses across the country.
In a statement by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, the governor described the COVID-19 pandemic as the defining global health predicament of our time and the greatest challenge faced in several generations.
His words: “Countries are under lockdown. Travel is severely restricted. Traditional havens are compromised. If this episode has taught us any fundamental lesson, it is that those of us in positions should effect positive change deliberately and urgently.“On our part, the Bayelsa State government took proactive actions to strengthen surveillance at our boundaries with neighbouring states to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into our state. With the diligence of the state taskforce on Covid19, which I chair, and the cooperation of the citizens, we were largely successful in this quest.
“However, we are now dealing with a new reality, with the confirmation of an index case and four members of her family. So the timing of this event when the dynamics have altered is most welcome.
“COVID-19 is much more than a health crisis. By putting countries it touches under duress, it has the potential to make devastating social, economic and political crises that will leave serious distortions in the fabric of society. By providing assistance to keep the virus in check is therefore commendable.
“On behalf of the people and governments of the South-South states, I express my sincerest gratitude to the Minister of Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari as well as the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote, for their obligation, insight and service to our zone and country.”
On his part, the NAOC Vice Chairman/Managing Director, Lorenzo Fiorillo, who was represented by the Community Relations Manager, Mr. MacWen Jitubo, stated that the ground breaking ceremony of the COVID-19 medical infrastructure was part of the intervention project sponsored by the company in the South South, adding that, the project was necessitated by the outbreak of the pandemic.
According to Fiorillo, the collaboration between government and the private sector at this critical moment is expedient for the vulnerable groups directly benefiting from the medical services that will be provided in the facility when completed.
When completed the facility would offer general medical services to the public as well as a disease control centre, diagnostic laboratory, 150-200-bed spaces scalable on both flanks and behind.