COVID-19: Akwa Ibom Govt rejects 10 vehicles donated by ExxonMobil

May 17, 2020
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Akwa Ibom State Government has rejected the ten vehicles donated to it by ExxonMobil for COVID-19 contact tracing in the state based on the reason that the vehicles were “very old, and used.”

It noted that the vehicles would not be able to withstand the rigors of contact tracing in the state.

ExxonMobil had last Friday donated WHO-standard RNA COVID-19 test kits for 1,920 tests, 1000 units of sample collection kits, two brand new ambulances, and vehicles to the state government.

During the handing over of the items, Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, Secretary to the State Government, commended ExxonMobil for donating equipment and items worth millions of naira to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

But in a twist, the state government, in a statement on Sunday by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh and made available to our correspondent in Uyo, said its decision to reject the vehicles followed an evaluation of the vehicles and other donations to the state by the oil company.

The Statement reads in parts, “The vehicles are considered too old and not in good enough operational conditions to withstand the rigors of contact tracing which they were meant to serve.

“However, the state government has 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.”

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Paul McGrath, during the donation last weekend said the firm was partnering with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders on ways to halt the spread of coronavirus.

He said 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 to support medical infrastructure as well as in-patient treatment.

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