Total to unveil oxygen plant, stakes N1.2bn on Covid-19 interventions
Having contributed $3.2m or N1.2 billion towards the Covid-19 interventions led by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Total E&P Nigeria Limited has stated that it plans to unveil a medical oxygen plant at the Gbagada General Hospital in the coming weeks.
The firm noted that the facility is in the last stages of construction and will be handed over to the Lagos State Government very soon, adding that the plant could cater to the needs of Lagos and other nearby States daily when operational.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had last month, said that the demand for oxygen by coronavirus patients increased to 400 cylinders per day in the course of the second wave of the coronavirus.
The oil firm noted that its COVID-19 interventions complemented government efforts to contain the pandemic, saying, “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 $3.2m or N1.2 billion.
The Executive General Manager, Operations Support Services, Alex Aghedo, at an interactive session with journalists, observed that more than 625,000 deaths occur yearly in Nigeria due to diseases associated with hypoxaemia (insufficient oxygen in the blood), according to the Federal Ministry of Health. In children, hypoxaemia is a major fatal complication of pneumonia, accounting for 120,000 under-5 deaths in Nigeria yearly.
“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,’’ Aghedo said.
The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Services, Abiodun Afolabi said Total was keen on the sustainability of projects and its interventions, hence 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,” Afolabi said.
He stated that by so doing, lessons are learned for the sustainability of the next project, adding that the oil firm was part of the NNPC led endeavour that donated N21billion to the Federal Government’s Covid-19 effort.
“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, Alex Aghedo explained.
In his remarks, 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.