Akwa Ibom government has given reasons for rejecting 10 medical vehicles recently donated by ExxonMobil to support the COVID-19 response programme.
According to Charles Udoh, commissioner for information, the vehicles are “very old and are not in good enough operational conditions.”
Udoh said in a statement made available to the media that the vehicles would not withstand the rigors of contact tracing which they were meant to serve.
Checks showed that the rejection came a day after the state government had received the vehicles and thanked the oil company for the donation.
Emmanuel Ekuwem, Secretary to the State Government who represented Governor Udom Emmanuel at the presentation of the vehicles was quoted as describing the donation as a “demonstration of the company’s pride of place as the number corporate partner in the state.”
But Udoh said the decision to turn down the offer was taken at the State COVID-19 Committee meeting following an evaluation of the vehicles and other donations to the state by the oil company.
“The vehicles are considered too old and not in good enough operational conditions to withstand the rigors of contact tracing which they were meant to serve,” he said.
He said however that the state government has accepted the two ambulances and 20 hospital beds also donated by the oil company, “despite the fact that the ambulances are converted buses while the beds are below the standard of those currently in secondary healthcare facilities in the state.”
Udoh expressed the state government’s appreciation to corporate bodies and private individuals for the cash donations made and other materials given towards the fight against COVID-19 in the state.