The Ogun state government has pledged continued support for private organisations in the state,as its took delivery of an 80-bed isolation centre donated by Unilever Nigeria Plc and Lafarge Africa Plc.
The donation was to keep the fight against COVID-19 strengthened in the state.
Commissioning the centre recently, the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun commended the companies on their doggedness and renewed fight against COVID-19.
Abiodun who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele promised that the centre would be manned by qualified health personnel, expressing that the gesture would nip the spread of COVID-19 in the bud in the state.
Also commenting, Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker expressed delight at the intervention.
He said, “Through our strategic engagements, we were able to collaborate to deliver this facility for managing cases of COVID-19 and other possible health outbreak in the state. We appreciate the two companies for this gesture.”
Managing Director of Unilever West Africa, Mr Carl Cruz stated that the collaboration of Unilever with Lafarge to donate the facility was
part of the company’s vision and commitment to make sustainable living commonplace.
He said, “A huge part of our operations is domiciled in Ogun State. Through the years, we continue to have a close relationship with the governor, the government and citizens of the state. As the state with one of the largest congregations of industries in Nigeria, we have enjoyed support from the state. It is not surprising that we are here today to further push the boundaries of providing state -of -the art health care facility to support the government and its people, in their drive to achieve a novel healthcare system to combat COVID and other health challenges”.
“Our response to the pandemic was through our hygiene products that were donated to State Governments (with Ogun as one of the leading beneficiaries), NGOs, religious bodies, and UN agencies, valued at N1.5 billion. In addition, we donated over 16,000 COVID tests and 6 ventilators to support the healthcare system at a time when there was a scarcity of test kits during the pandemic”.
Cruz avowed that the company would keep partnering with government and multinationals to make the state achieve its full potential as an investment destination of choice.
Describing the centre, he said,” This isolation centre is a purpose-built medical facility equipped with an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It has an in-house facility for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Testing, an ambulance response, a Computed Tomography (CT) scan facility, Operating theatre, mobile x-ray machines and multi-parameter patient monitoring equipment, amongst other facilities.
On his part, Managing Director and Country Chief Executive Officer at Lafarge Africa, Mr Khaled El Dokani reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to building sustainable cities, while also supporting initiatives that would promote good health and well-being.
“As a firm that is committed to building progress for people and the planet, Lafarge resolutely stands side by side with the government and the people of Ogun state in combating the spread of coronavirus and relieving its impact on people. This Isolation Centre is a continuation of our support to communities and the Government of Nigeria to limit the human and economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“As we fully hand over this facility to the Ogun State Government, we believe that it will strengthen the resilience of our communities by enhancing the capacity to isolate and treat new cases of infection and Covid-19. The donation of the facility also reminds us that the new coronavirus is still with us, so we should continue to adhere to all necessary precautions to prevent contracting and spreading the virus.”
He added that as cases of coronavirus infection decline, the company is now focused on working with the government and communities to reduce infections and eventually eliminate the new coronavirus.
“This would allow the Nigerian economy to enter a post-pandemic phase, thus boosting investment, productivity and jobs creation”, he said.
Lafarge Africa has committed the sum of N500 million ($1.28m) as part of the company’s intervention programme for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions consist of medical infrastructure including ambulances and essential personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical professionals.
The programme also includes the provision of food relief across the company’s host communities to cushion the impact of the stay-at-home measures aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus. At the peak of the pandemic, the company converted its facility in Ashaka to an isolation centre fully supported by power generators. This intervention impacted over 11,000 families across Nigeria.