They are guests of CCECC for Idu-Abuja isolation centre, ThisDay Dome, others
Clearing the air on the whereabouts of the 15 Chinese experts who came into Nigeria in April, the Ministry of Interior says it is fully aware of their presence and location in the country.
The Minister, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, while responding to a question at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the experts were still in Nigeria and that they came on the bill of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to assist in building and equipping COVID-19 isolation centres.
Persecondnews recalls that the whereabouts of the Chinese experts had generated a lot of controversy as the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire last week told reporters not to ask him on the whereabouts of “Chinese medical experts’’ who came into Nigeria to support the fight COVID-19.
Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing, said the medical personnel “are not guests of the Federal Government but CCECC, a construction company.”
But Aregbesola shedding light on the issue, said: “Indeed, 15 Chinese nationals came into Nigeria on 8th of April. They are here on the bill of the CCECC, a Chinese company doing some works for us in Nigeria in conjunction with some Nigerian companies they agreed to support us in the effort to respond to the pandemic.
“At Idu isolation centre in Abuja, they participated in retrofitting and equipping the isolation centre. They equally worked on the Dome project that was handled by the NNPC Construction in conjunction with ThisDay.
“So, those are the locations in which they came to work both in retrofitting the Iju facility and installing critical essential medical equipment.’’
Aregbesola explained that the Chinese experts on a 30-day visa issued in Beijing, adding “they are still in the country because there is a restriction on travel occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.’