Just when you thought Nigeria’s oil marketing companies were all about their profit margins and clamouring for total market deregulation, the industry’s core stakeholders under the aegis of the Downstream Petroleum Group have joined Corporate Nigeria in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing palliatives to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Nigeria’s downstream petroleum stakeholders, led by the industry representative, Hajia Amina Maina, Chief Operating Officer, MRS Holdings Limited, announced the group’s intention to complete and fully equip the International Diagnostic Centre in Abuja in time to serve the growing needs of the population during this critical period.
Describing the initiative as a more sustainable way of contributing to the fight against the global pandemic during the Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Summit webinar organised by the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Limited recently, Maina said “What we have done on the downstream side is that we have partnered with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to complete the NNPC hospital in Abuja. It is called the Abuja International Diagnostic Centre, which is a property that belongs to the NNPC.”
“We have decided that we will equip the hospital and make it ready. It is almost completed and has capacity for a 60-bed general ward and a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” she said, adding that when completed, it will be able to do cardiology, it will have a dental section and it will also have an accident and emergency unit.
Maina noted that the downstream petroleum industry had to consider the options of making donations to the different states where they operate from, build isolation centres or just donate equipment and ambulances.
“We know there are a lot of isolation centres being built around the country and they are needed, but we thought to ourselves, after the temporary measures that have been put in place for Covid-19, then what next? This guided our decision to develop a full world class standard hospital,” she revealed.
In addition, Maina announced that the group has also donated equipment such as ventilators and face masks. Furthermore, in line with protecting medical personnel on the frontlines, they group has also donated over 3,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), 40,000 test kits and funds to procure drugs needed for the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yola, in response to a particular request it received.
Maina stressed that these actions have been taken as a group, while individual oil marketing companies have personally made donations of ambulances, food stuff, cash and medical equipment in the various states where they operate.
She said that “In this difficult time, we have been able to come together to say this is the little we can do and will continue to do as we go along. We must also agree that the task ahead is daunting and bigger than any one organization. To win this battle, it is critical we all come together as one.”