We Brought In Chinese Experts Primarily To Prevent COVID-19 Outbreak Among Our Staff – CCECC

At least 15 Chinese medical experts arrived in Nigeria on April 8, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV
At least 15 Chinese medical experts arrived in Nigeria on April 8, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Chinese experts who arrived Nigeria in early April were brought in primarily to assist the staff of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to avoid the COVID-19 infection, the company said in a statement on Friday.

CCECC, a Chinese construction firm that has a hand in some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country, said the experts underwent a 14-day quarantine on arrival into the country and were tested for the virus.

“The medical personnel, including infectious disease experts, were brought to Nigeria primarily to assist CCECC in preventing COVID-19 outbreak among its staff and providing expertise on COVID-19 management should the need arise,” the CCECC statement, posted on its Twitter page, read.

In addition to helping CCECC manage the pandemic, the experts also provided technical support to the Nigerian government in the installation of equipment at Thisday Dome, a 300-bed isolation centre.

“Upon invitation from the Federal Ministry of Health, the team has held a teleconference with the Ministry’s representatives and Nigerian medical experts in experience sharing sessions,” CCECC said.

The company confirmed the recent comments of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on the whereabouts of the Chinese experts.

“The medical personnel are in Nigeria at the instance of CCECC Nigeria and they have been, at all times, under the care and accommodation of CCECC,” the statement said.

“During their stay in Nigeria, they have complied with all known immigration and health protocols.”

The Chinese experts have been a subject of controversy in Nigeria. Many say they are wary of the intentions of the Chinese, while others believe it unnecessarily plays up the incompetence of Nigerian health workers.

It is “a thing of embarrassment” to the country’s health workers, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) said in a statement just before the doctors arrived.

In its statement on Friday, CCECC said none of the experts are involved in the treatment of COVID-19 cases during their time in the country.

“In dealing with both the CCECC and the Nigerian health officials,” CCECC said, “the team only plays an advisory role.”

See CCECC’s full statement below:

 

What Chinese Experts Came To Do In Nigeria – Interior Minister Reveals

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola on Tuesday revealed the mission and activities so far carried out by 15 Chinese experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.

Aregbesola while responding to journalists at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 said the experts are in Nigeria on the bill of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to assist in building and equipping isolation centres.

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“Indeed 15 Chinese nationals came into Nigeria on 8th of April. They are here on the bill of the CCECC, a Chinese company doing some works for us in Nigeria in conjunction with some Nigerian companies they agreed to support us in the effort to respond to the pandemic.

“At Idu isolation centre in Abuja, they participated in retrofitting and equipping the isolation centre. They equally worked on the Dome project, that was handled by the NNPC Construction in conjunction with ThisDay.

“So, those are the locations in which they came to work. Both in retrofitting the Iju facility and installing critical essential medical equipment,” the Minister explained.

He added that the Chinese experts came into Nigeria on a 30-day visa issued in Beijing and they are still in the country because there is a restriction on travel occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The whereabouts of the Chinese experts became a thing of concern after the Minister of Health last week Thursday told reporters not to question him over the whereabouts of Chinese medical experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.

Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing said the medical personnel “are not guests of the Federal Government but CCECC, a construction company.”

More Than A Million Masks Set To Arrive From China – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja on the confirmed case of coronavirus on February 28, 2020. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.
A file photo of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says more than one million masks are about to be received into the country from China.

Addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja, he explained that the masks were being sent by a Chinese construction company, CCECC, as parts of its corporate social responsibility efforts to help Nigeria combat the coronavirus pandemic.

CCECC, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is in charge of a number of Nigeria’s major railway construction projects.

The masks are to be accompanied by ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and an 18-man team made up of Chinese medical and technical experts, the Minister said during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Ehanire believes the supplies being brought in by China are “globally scarce” and will “augment government support and build capacity to contain the outbreak.”

A picture taken on March 4, 2020, shows a bottle of alcohol gel hand sanitiser and an FFP2 protective face mask. Olivier MORIN / AFP

 

 

The Roles To Play

“Many of you who read the news know that there is a global competition for masks, that certain countries have been accusing each other of capturing each other’s masks,” he said.

“There has also been a global competition for ventilators with some countries donating ventilators to others and also swapping ventilators.

“So . . . it is particularly pacifying that in the face of all of this, we are able to get these supplies here, which even if we had the money, we would not have been able to order.

“In addition, the technical experts will comprise research doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians with public health managers who will share their own knowledge and skills – and their real-life experiences of fighting COVID-19 – with Nigerian experts to strengthen our own management of cases, especially with regard to critical care.

“As we all know, this country (China) has had quite an experience with it,” he added.

 

The Most Needed PPE

The Minister stressed the usefulness of the equipment being brought in and how the country would benefit from the knowledge of the Chinese experts.

He said, “Now, this initiative will greatly build the capacity of our hard-working and resourceful Nigerian healthcare workers who are at the forefront of fighting the virus.

“But the most needed PPE and masks will also protect our frontline workers and mitigate the spread of this disease.

“We do have a window of opportunity to strengthen our response mechanisms through lessons we learn from any country that has had the experience and can provide a hands-on demonstration of how to deal with the outbreak and give Nigerian clinical workforce the opportunity of sharing global best practices.”

Railway Wagon Assembly Plant To Employ About 5,000 Nigerians, Says Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the ongoing Wagon Assembly Plant in Kajola, Ogun state, will employ about 5,000 Nigerians directly and indirectly.

The project which was commissioned by Prof Osinbajo on Sunday, is a private investment undertaken by CCECC and is aimed at the production of rolling stock spare parts and maintenance equipment needed for the railway modernization programme of the Federal Government.

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Prof Osinbajo described the ground-breaking ceremony as a historic turning point owing to the significance of the railway as an alternative and comfortable mode of travel and holds the master key to transforming commerce in Nigeria.

“By linking our ports to rail lines and now, building the rolling stock locally, import and export business within and out of Africa’s largest market will be completely transformed. When completed, it is expected that the plant would produce some parts of the wagons for the Lagos – Ibadan, and Abuja – Kaduna rail lines, but also for the central rail lines and to satisfy the needs of other rail operators within the West-African sub-region.

“The plant would offer an important platform for engineers, technicians, artisans and other professionals to gain the specialized skills required for the production and maintenance of rolling stock. This will invariably conduce to spin-off businesses in the region of operation in particular and across the country wherever rail networks are in existence. The plant is expected to generate about five thousand (5,000) direct and indirect jobs.”

He told CCECC that President Muhammadu Buhari is hopeful that the project will speedily move to the next phase, which is the assembly and construction of coaches and locomotives.

“I have a message also for you from the President and this is to CCECC which is that we expect that you move on very quickly to the next phase of this project which is the assembly and construction of coaches and locomotives.

“This for us will be a significant breakthrough and we look forward to hearing from you as quickly as possible when this will come into operation,” he added.

He thanked the host community for showing support to the government while urging them to effectively cooperate with the contractors in safeguarding and protecting the investments.

Ogun Signs Multi-Billion Dollar Rail Construction Contract

Ogun stateThe Ogun State Government has signed a multi-billion dollar construction contract with a Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on the construction of intra and inter-city rail network in the state.

The signing which took place on Monday, at the Governor’s office, Abeokuta, the state capital, was done by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa and the Chairman of CCECC, Mr Cao Baogang. The event was, however, supervised by the Governor, Mr. Ibikunle Amosun and the Chinese Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Lin Kan.

Speaking on the significance of the rail project to the economic development of the state, the governor noted that the project would ease transportation problems in the state.

He however noted that majority of the raw materials to be used for the projects would be sourced locally and local suppliers would be encouraged and supported to tap into the opportunity provided by the project.

Minister Of Works, Mike Onolememen Visits Bayelsa

bayelsaThe Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, has visited Bayelsa State to commission the Mbiama/Igbogene dual carriage way that was embarked upon by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), as well as flag off the Bayelsa Palm/Elebele/Imiringi road, which has been awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) for a cost of 26 billion naira, with a completion period of 30 months.

Mr Onolememen shared his mission to the state during a courtesy visit to Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson.

Mr Onolememen, while intimating the Governor on the achievements recorded by his ministry, commended him on the development of critical infrastructure across the state.

Governor Dickson, in his response, reaffirmed his administration’s desire to collaborate with the Federal Government and private sector in undertaking the construction of some roads which he described as key road projects in the state.

The Governor also noted that the three senatorial roads to Brass, Koluama and Agege were critical to the socioeconomic development of the state, adding that the completion of the roads would also check crime, and criminality on the waterways.

Underscoring the need for collaborative efforts, Governor Dickson noted that the peculiar terrain of the area, and the heavy financial cost of the three projects was beyond the capability of the state government alone.

Mr Dickson also pointed out that, the state had already made significant progress, by embarking on the initial sections of the roads to Nembe, Oporoma and Ekeremor.

He commended the leadership of the FERMA, describing it as a reliable outfit and partner.

Akpabio Charges Youths To Cooperate With Road Construction Company

The government of Akwa Ibom state has charged youths of Eket and Etinan towns to cooperate with contractors handling the dualisation of Eket-Etinan Road to ensure the completion of the project on schedule.

Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the charge in Eket while flagging off the construction of the road.

The governor assured that the dualization of the 23.3km road will be completed before the end of his tenure in 2015.He expressed confidence in the competence of CCECC, the contractors, to deliver the project in record time of 36 months.

Akpabio said the dualization of the road was part of his agenda to unleash uncommon transformation on all parts of the state, adding that the oil rich city of Eket will soon experience major remodelling of its roads to add beauty and ease traffic.

The cost of the dualization is put at N26 billion. Features of the dual carriage way inculude 3 bridges, covered drains, street lights, walk ways on both sides, shoulders on both sides and traffic lights.

Governor Akpabio had earlier commissioned some roads in Etinan and promised that more projects are billed for commissioning in the weeks to come.

Ogun Signs MoU With Chinese Company To Build Monorail

The Ogun State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on light rail mass transit with the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) that will link major cities in the state as well as boost its economy.

While signing the MoU in his Oke-Mosan Office in Abeokuta, the state Governor; Mr Ibikunle Amosun said this became necessary in order to reposition the state for economic development and prosperity.

The Governor stated that it was imperative to boost transportation in the state since the state population is projected to rise significantly over the next couple of years.

While signing the MOU in his office, the state governor, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, noted that there could be no development without infrastructure.

“We have been doing our best on roads but it is high time we paid attention to rail as well. We are starting the mass transit within Abeokuta metropolis. This will be extended to all our major towns including the Ado-Odo/Ota axis up to the areas bordering Lagos,” he said.

Amosun noted that it was imperative to boost transportation in the state in anticipation of significant rise in population over the next couple of years.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Company, Mr. Cao Bao Gang, lauded the Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led administration for its vision, pointing out that “the project on completion will enhance the transportation system and contribute to the economic development of the Gateway State.’’

He assured the governor that quality would be the firm’s watchword in the implementation of the contract.

“The project will provide jobs for residents and help the unskilled ones to gain adequate knowledge through training and involvement in the whole process.”

The signing of the MOU was witnessed by government officials including the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu.

Nigeria to be rice-sufficient in 18 months

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has stated that it will bring in 100 rice processing mills from China that will make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production in the next eighteen months.

Briefing state house correspondents after the Council meeting on Wednesday, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina explained that the decision was taken, following a recent trip to China by a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of Finance and the coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

He said that the rice mills will produce 2.1 million metric tons of rice per year which will allow Nigeria to have the full milling capacity for all the rice the country imports.

Dr Adesina recently told Channels Television that the country spends N365 billion to import rice annually at the cost of N1 billion per day.

The FEC also announced plans to work with the People’s Republic of China to mordernise the Lagos –Ibadan railway line.

According to the Minister of Transportation, Senator Idris Umar, working with China EXIM bank, Nigeria should take a lead to mordernise its railway.

He cited examples of how China has been able to develop train system that moves over 350-400 kilometres per hour insisting that the 150-180 kilometres of railway modernisation should be on stream in no distant time.

Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is already involved in the construction of the Okokomaiko-Marina Lagos Rail Mass Transit with the Lagos state government.

The federal executive council also awarded contract for the modernisation of the canal jetty at the Terminal C of the old Warri port for the tune of N9.406 billion.