Shell donates COVID-19 testing machines to Rivers

Shell Petroleum Development Company has donated coronavirus testing machines to Rivers State.

The medical equipment were presented to Governor Nyesom Wike on Wednesday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, by the representatives of Shell.

“We thank you for supplying these medical equipment to the Rivers state government to fight the spread of coronavirus,” a statement from Mr Wike’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu, quoted the governor as saying. “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.”

The Deputy Managing Director of Shell, Simon Roddy, who represented the company’s managing director, commended Governor Wike for his efforts to keep Rivers people safe from the coronavirus.

Mr Roddy thanked the Rivers governor for granting Shell accelerated approvals for the movement of personnel on essential duties and equipment to support oil-production.

Mr Roddy said Shell earlier donated oxygen concentrators, suction machines, defibrillators, ventilators, wheeled stretchers, PPEs, ambulance, and a power-generating set towards the COVID-19 fight in the state.

He said Wednesday’s donation is meant to enhance the clinical capabilities at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital and the COVID-19 Treatment Centre at Eleme.

“The two PCR Machines are approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to deliver COVID-19 molecular screening tests,” he said. “It is a pacesetting technology enhancing testing capacity and fast cycling times. The first two in Rivers State.”

An official of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Adebola Aderibigbe, who represented the group managing director of the corporation, was part of the Shell delegation to the Rivers Government House.

Mr Aderibigbe said NNPC will continue to prevail on oil companies to support the Rivers government in the fight against the coronavirus.

Not so elated governor

Governor Wike, at the meeting, said he was not happy with the NNPC.

He said the corporation transported 22 of its staff from Gombe into the Port Harcourt International Airport and moved them into Rivers State “without clearance from the Rivers State government.”

He said “everyone wants to explore oil, but nobody is concerned about the welfare and survival of Rivers people.”

The governor has been accusing the federal government of bias in its support to the federating states in the fight against the coronavirus.

He recently questioned why the federal government gave N10 billion grant to Lagos State to fight the spread of the coronavirus without giving any help to Rivers.

He also complained that the nation’s centre for disease control was building COVID-19 labs in Lagos, Ogun, and Kano, without building any in Rivers.

“It must be stated that this (donation) is not from the federal government,” Mr Wike said of the donation from Shell.

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