I have read on the website of ExxonMobil of their seeming act of benevolence, donating Ambulances, other vehicles, beds and medical supplies to support Nigerian Covid-19 response, Akwa Ibom State inclusive.
While many will applaud and appreciate these apparent kind gesture from a Multinational that is exploiting our mineral resources and contributing less to the development of the core oil producing communities, as a Representative of the people from this region in the National Assembly, it is important to state that these provisions from ExxonMobil is another way of insulting the sensibilities of Akwa Ibom people.
I am aware that the oil giant, has never procured used or refurbished vehicles for their own operations or for their staff for that matter. I find it therefore, very worrisome, why they should donate to Akwa Ibom State government, refurbished abandoned vehicles that they used for numerous operations in their different facilities across the state about 20 years ago or thereabouts. The excuse of using them for contact tracing is laughable and demeaning. The beds and mattresses donated are not even fit for the worst correctional homes and are a complete eyesore and disservice to the avowed standards of Exxonmobil. If they could do this with vehicles, how do we trust the test kits donated?
Akwa Ibom state government deserves the best of medical equipment, vehicles to commensurate their tranquil working relationship with ExxonMobil in the course of their operations in the region to support the fight against Covid-19, but they choose to spite us with used refurbished vehicles, poor quality equipment and retrenchment of indigenous workers. We would have thought that they had learnt lessons after the poor showing in the distribution of the $50,000 palliatives last week and make restitution but no, they choose to rub salt to the injury.
I hereby call on the Akwa Ibom State Government to reject those refurbished vehicles, antiquated beds and dirty mattresses until ExxonMobil learn to deal respectfully with her host State and Communities.
Hon. Patrick Ifon
Eket/ Esit Eket/ Ibeno/ONNA