48 oil workers have tested positive for Coronavirus in Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers State.
Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, a Lawyer, who gave this hint, when he received the management team from Nigeria’s subsidiary of ExxonMobil – United States supermajor – Mobil Producing Unlimited, at the Government House in Port Harcourt, noted that oil workers coming from rigs are the most affected.
Nigeria’s Disease Control agency, NCDC update as at Wednesday, May 20, the day Wike stated this, showed that the state has 79 cases of COVID-19 infections, 54 case are active; 21 cases have been discharged while 4 cases have been killed by the dreaded virus.
Oil workers, the governor declared, “have so far contributed 60 per cent to the coronavirus cases recorded in the state.”
He recalled that recently, the Nigeria Airforce Base, Port Harcourt, also quarantined 14 oil workers out which, three tested positive. He stated that it was for this reason that the state government has insisted that oil workers coming into the state must be tested to confirm their coronavirus status.
The State Chief Executive noted that oil remains the mainstay of the economy and that government actions are not targeted at anybody or organisation.
He said: “It’s not in anybody’s interest to deny people to carry out their official duties. Oil is the mainstay of the economy of Nigeria and without it, we that are in this part of the country will find it difficult to function.
“My concern is that companies should always notify the government of workers they are bringing into the state, so that our health officials can monitor them.
“So all that we are saying is that we should work together. But people bring in politics that Rivers State is difficult; they don’t want any oil exploration. That is because people want to play politics.
“People say we don’t want foodstuff and livestock to come into the state. That is not correct. What we are saying is that human beings should not be hidden with these items.”