Oil major, Total E&P Nigeria Limited has assured of its commitment to support federal governments efforts in fighting the COVID-19 scourge through provisions of interventions alongside other stakeholders.
The firm highlighted its COVID-19 interventions which complemented government efforts to contain the pandemic during a virtual media interaction on Thursday.
The company explained that it made massive interventions because it sees Nigeria as home and likes to identify with communities where it operates.
Leading the session, the Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Services, Mr. Abiodun Afolabi said Total was keen on the sustainability of projects and its interventions; that is why the company prefers to complete programmes and projects before talking about them.
“For us, it is not a short-term aim; what we are doing is for the long term. We want to see that what we are doing is sustainable. Our own is not just to deliver and walk away, we donate and follow up to see that what we have given has brought value or the envisaged impact,” Mr Afolabi said. He stated that by so doing, lessons are learned for the sustainability of the next project.
Total explained that it was part of the NNPC led endeavour that donated N21billion to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 effort. The company explained that “in the first phase of that effort, the donation covered three thematic areas, namely, provision of medical consumables; deployment of logistics and in-patient support services as well as medical infrastructure.
Total’s contribution was $3.2 million (N1.2b) and from the N1.2b contribution, Total is building two Emergency and Infectious Diseases (EID) Hospitals, one each in Maiduguri and Katsina, in addition to two Diagnostics Centres, one each in Minna and Damaturu.” This was followed by similar contributions to States. It cited Lagos state which got 20 Hospital Beds; 2 Surgical Ventilators; 2 Primaflex Dialysis Machines; 50,000 Litres of Fuel/ Diesel 2,000+ Face Masks at a time that the pandemic made such items difficult to procure.
“Realizing that the challenges brought about by the pandemic could potentially worsen the situation of persons living with HIV/AIDS, we reached out to the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, NEPHWAN in Lagos with foodstuff, sanitary products and the much-needed antiretroviral drugs,” the Executive General Manager, Operations Support Services, Mr Alex Aghedo explained in an incisive presentation on the company’s interventions towards taming the pandemic, in Nigeria.
The company explained that in Rivers State, it donated food items which included 800 bags of rice, 6,000 tubers of yam, 3,000+ cartons of noodles etc. to Egi Communities. To Erema General Hospital in OML 58, it donated Medical Beds, Safety Gowns, Goggles, Sanitizers, Sprayers, Drugs, Disinfectants and more. Total also donated medical equipment to the 6 Division of Nigerian Army in Rivers State.
On the need for an Oxygen plant, the Executive General Manager Operations Support Services, Mr Aghedo, observed that according to the Federal Ministry of Health, more than 625,000 deaths occur annually in Nigeria due to diseases associated with hypoxaemia (insufficient oxygen in the blood). In children, hypoxaemia is a major fatal complication of pneumonia, accounting for 120,000 under-5 deaths in Nigeria per annum.
“In Nigeria, the Covid-19 pandemic simply made an already bad situation even worse. In collaboration with the Lagos Ministry of Health and our partners (NNPC, CNOOC, SAPETRO, Prime) we decided to build and donate a medical oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital. We believe that this facility would be useful even beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. It would not only help improve the State’s capacity to care for Covid-19 patients but also further strengthen capacity to manage other conditions associated with oxygen deficiency,’’ Mr Aghedo said adding that the facility is in the last stages of construction and will be handed over to the Lagos State Government very soon. He also stated that the plant could cater to the needs of Lagos and other nearby States daily when operational.
The company also indicated that it has made similar interventions in the past as it gave a glimpse into its intervention during another deadly infectious disease: Ebola
In his remarks, moderator of the session and the Country Communication Manager, Dr Charles Ebereonwu noted that while that the company had done a lot in assisting various levels of government to fight against the pandemic, it was telling the stories to inspire others to make their quota of contributions towards improving the lives of Nigerians. “By the time we aggregate the small bits of efforts by responsive corporate organizations like Total, a critical mass would have been achieved for economic development,” he said.
The Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, Mrs. Bunmi Popoola-Mordi thanked the journalists for attending the online session, saying the company was interested in feedback and attaches importance to stakeholder engagement.