COVID-19: Petroleum Industry To Construct Hospitals And Diagnostics Centers

As part of its contribution to build a robust healthcare for Nigeria, the Oil and Gas Industry has expressed its readiness to embark on the construction of, at least, two hospitals and a world class diagnostics center in each of the geopolitical zones in the Country, in addition to the 250 temporary bed facilities that it offers to support government’s efforts in the fight against Cronavirus pandemic.

Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, made this known while speaking Monday on an African International Television (AIT) morning programme: MoneylinewithNancy, in Abuja.

Mallam Kyari stated that the hospitals and the world class diagnostics centers would be an addition to the regular Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the Upstream and Downstream companies, as well as service providers operating in the Oil and Gas Industry.

A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, quoted Mallam Kyari as saying that all commitments from the Industry would be collected in kind and handed over to the Presidential Taskforce for the Control of Coronavirus (Covid-19), stressing that the Petroleum Industry would use its clear and transparent governance framework, collection and distribution processes already emplaced in respective companies to support the country’s healthcare infrastructure in this troubling times.

“We and all our partners, comprising the Upstream, Downstream and service providers, decided to come together to respond in three thematic areas. First is the provision of medical consumables such as facemasks and testing kits among others. Secondly, the medical logistics and patients’ support issues such as ventilators and oxygen generating plants. The third leg is provision of temporary isolation centres and the establishment of permanent medical infrastructure that will be of use during this period and after the pandemic is stemmed. We believe this pandemic will eradicated,” Mallam Kyari explained.

He informed that the Oil and Gas Industry in the Country would liaise with the various state governments and emplaced a sustainable and efficient governance structure to manage the health facilities established by the Industry long after COVID-19 has been brought under control.

“Nigerians will recall that last week, NNPC and our partners in the Upstream, Downstream and services sector launched an Industry-wide collaborative initiative in support of the ongoing Federal Government’s efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The total commitment to this initiative now amounts to N21billion and it is growing and potentially it is going to grow,” Mallam Kyari quipped.

The NNPC GMD stated that the distribution of the committed items would be under the stated three-thematic areas of the initiative, adding that considering supply chain constraints, all committed items cannot be delivered and distributed all at once.

According to him, NNPC and partners have a streamlined programme for the distribution of these items on weekly basis to the nook and cranny of the nation from the three clearing houses in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

“This is the hallmark of “Good Corporate Citizenship,” which the Oil & Gas Industry is known for. We remain accountable to Nigerians and will continue to provide details of what has been collected, how it’s distributed and where it’s being delivered to, the helmsman of the Nigeria State Oil Firm enthused.

Responding to a question on whether or not the government was still paying subsidy on petrol, Kyari said, “There is no subsidy and it is zero forever, adding that going forward there would be no resort to either subsidy or under recovery of any nature. NNPC will play in the marketplace, it will just be another marketer in the space. But we will be there for the country to sustain security of supply at market price.”

Mallam Kyari stated that NNPC was a transparent organisation, saying the National Oil Company was probably the only company in the world that publishes its monthly financial and operations reports.

He said the corporation was proud of the initiative, stressing that he guaranteed Nigerians of NNPC’s commitment and observance of transparency and accountability in all its transactions.

He disclosed that as at yesterday Nigeria produced 2.3million barrels of crude oil, including condensates even as he maintained that the plan was for the country to ramp up production to 3million barrels per day in the nearest future.

Mallam Kyari said Nigeria was endowed with premium crude oil grades which is supplied to Europe, Asia and India, stressing that despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected demand and supply fundamentals, all of Nigeria’s export terminals are still in operations.

“The key issue in crude oil business is market fundamentals of demand/supply. I believe #COVID-19 will subside and countries will come back to life. I don’t see oil price going below the $20 we saw last week. I’m certain, all things being equal, oil price will bounce back,” Mallam Kyari informed.

The NNPC’s helmsman assured Nigerians of ample supply and distribution of petroleum products, saying despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the corporation had in stock about 2.6billion litres of petroleum products that could service the country’s energy needs for the next two months.

He stated that the NNPC was collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the supply and distribution value chain is not disrupted to guarantee energy security for the country.

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