Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has commended Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for the donation of key medical equipment in support of Rivers State Government's efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Receiving the medical equipment at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike said this is the first time he will commend SPDC.
He said: "We thank you for supplying these medical equipment to the Rivers State Government to fight the spread of coronavirus.
"This is the first time that I am going to commend you. I thank you for supporting the State Government in the fight against Coronavirus.
"But I am not happy with the NNPC for transporting 22 staff from Gombe into the Port Harcourt International Airport, and moving them into Rivers State without clearance. "
He regretted that everyone wants oil exploration, but nobody is concerned about the welfare and survival of Rivers people.
He said: "We have to work hard to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. We are not fighting anyone. But it must be stated that this is not from the Federal Government. "
Wike said that the objective is to save the lives of Rivers people.
The governor urged the oil companies to always inform him when they are changing crew. He added that they should always supply the relevant manifest.
On the lockdown, he warned that anyone who violates the order will be arrested and prosecuted.
In his remarks, Managing Director of SPDC, represented by his Deputy, Mr Simon Roddy commended Governor Wike for his untiring efforts and vigilance to keep the people of Rivers State safe in the face of the threats posed by Coronavirus.
He also thanked the Rivers State Governor for granting SPDC accelerated approvals for the movement of personnel on essential duties and equipment to support production.
He pointed out that on April 7, 2020, SPDC made earlier donations of oxygen concentrators, suction machines, defibrillators, Ventilators, wheeled stretchers, PPEs, Ambulance and generator.
He said Wednesday's donations are aimed at enhancing the clinical capabilities at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the COVID-19 Treatment Centre at Eleme.
He said: "The Two PCR Machines are approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to deliver COVID-19 Molecular screening tests. It is a pace setting technology enhancing testing capacity and fast cycling times. The first two in Rivers State. "
In his remarks, the Representative of the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr Adebola Aderibigbe said the donation is to support the Rivers State Government in the fight against Coronavirus.
He assured that the NNPC will continue to prevail on oil companies to support the State Government in the fight against coronavirus.
Rivers State Health Commissioner, Professor Chike Princewill said the machines donated by SPDC is the exact machines recommended by the World Health Organisation for the confirmation of COVID-19 Tests.
SPDC Community Health Manager, Dr Akinwunmi Fajola said that the machines have the capacity of rapid tests everyday. He said that the SPDC used seven weeks to source the machines. He said that the NCDC has already staff to get the machines to a position of functionality.