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COVID-19: A’Ibom Gov’t Threatens To Shut Down ExxonMobil Centres

Akwa Ibom State Government has issued a seven-day ultimatum to oil giant, ExxonMobil to comply with stipulated COVID-19 guidelines or risk having all its quarantine centres in State shut down.

The State government issued the threat on Saturday, July 4, through its Chairman in charge of COVID-19 Management Committee and Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem.

Dr. Ekuwem, while speaking with Government House Press Corp in Uyo, explained that ExxonMobil, in operating its quarantine centres, has not followed the AKSG/NCDC/WHO laid down protocols required for effective and efficient running of quarantine centres.

According to him, the breaches observed in ExxonMobil quarantine Centres, in the estimation of the COVID-19 Management Committee are capable of endangering the lives of not just the staff of ExxonMobil, but also the lives of the generality of Akwa Ibom people.

The SSG maintained that Akwa Ibom State Government cannot overlook the breaches by the corporate organization, as it could jeopardize the sustained and deliberate efforts of Governor Udom Emmanuel administration to curb the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic to the barest minimum.

The committee, he said, therefore believed that it was necessary for ExxonMobil to make professional adjustments, take appropriate precautions and liaise with the State Government where necessary for the efficient running of its quarantine centres in Akwa Ibom.

It would be recalled that during the lock down occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporate social responsibility of ExxonMobil was called to question when it donated two ambulances, 20 hospital beds and 10 very old used vehicles from its fleet to the state for use in contact tracing.

The state government after evaluating the donated items, rejected the 10 vehicles and called on ExxonMobil to demonstrate good corporate citizenship by replacing them.

As at the time of writing this report, the oil giant was yet to retrieve the used vehicles, neither has it brought new ones to replace them.

The donated ambulances were also discovered to be converted buses and the beds fall below the standards in the secondary healthcare facilities in Akwa Ibom State.

The recalcitrant attitude of ExxonMobil also recently led to its premises being shut down by the Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service over repeatedly default in its tax obligations to Akwa Ibom State.

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