…commends nation’s oil and gas industry for initiative
…facility ready in 18 months
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on Saturday laid the foundation of a permanent Emergency and Infectious Disease Hospital for the South-South zone in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, with a completion deadline of 18 months.
The facility is part of the projects being undertaken by the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry Intervention Initiatives on COVID-19 across the country to the tune of $58 million (N21 billion naira) in the first instance.
The industry participants are the NNPC, international oil companies, indigenous producers, major oil marketers, crude oil and products traders, depot owners and petroleum products marketers.
Sylva, a one-time governor of the state, said the intervention was in line with the ongoing Federal Government’s efforts to curb the pandemic through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.
He said the intervention covers three key areas — provision of Medical consumables, deployment of logistics and in-patient support system, and delivery of medical infrastructure.
According to the minister, the action was taken to support national healthcare facilities and strengthen collective national resolve in combating the pandemic and its dreadful impact.
On the choice of Bayelsa State for the project, Sylva described the state of strategic importance to the nation, saying it is the state where the first commercial discovery of crude oil was achieved thereby launching the country into the limelight of the petro-state nations.
“Also, it is the state that accounts for almost 40% of the nation’s total onshore oil production.
“Indeed, nowhere deserves to be selected as the first state to kickstart the most important category of this important intervention initiative thanthe ‘Glory of all Lands’,’’ he said.
Sylva added:“ Today’s event is an important one, as it puts the nation’s oil and gas industry in a good stead to bequeath a sustainable impact and legacy on our healthcare delivery system in the South-South region long after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In addition, NNPC and it’s partners under this initiative will continue to distribute consignments of medical consumables, equipment and logistics facilities across all the states in the country.
“Already, the NNPC/ Shell Joint Venture has donated medical consumables and critical medical equipment to the Rivers State COVID-19 Isolation Centre at the Eleme General hospital.
“This gesture is also being extended to other in the South South , South East and the nation at large.’’
In order to ensure transparency and accountability, Sylva said participating companies will execute the project and items procurement using their internal companies’ established processes.
“All these are over and above the regular social investments through various Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives by NNPC and the participating Companies.”
The Minister congratulated the Bayelsa State Government and also thank the NNPC, the ENI group of Companies and their partners and other participants for executing the project in the state.