Coronavirus: Why Akwa Ibom rejects 10 vehicles donated by ExxonMobil

* Vehicles too old, not in good operational conditions -SSG

Isola Moses| ConsumerConnect
Following the recent donations by the oil giant to alleviate the impacts of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the Akwa Ibom State Government has rejected 10 of the vehicles ExxonMobil oil corporation offered the state for virus contacts tracing.

The international oil giant Friday, May 15 had 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, ConsumerConnect reports.

Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who represented Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State on the occasion, earlier had commended 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 few days later, report says the state government rejected the vehicles, saying the decision was based on its close evaluation of the vehicles and every other thing donated by the oil company.

Dr. Ekuwem said: “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.”

Paul McGrath, Managing Director ExxonMobil in Nigeria, during the donation at the weekend, said the firm was partnering the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders on ways to halt the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

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, said McGrath.

Additional reporting by Helen Omeghara

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