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Agip debunks exposing workers to COVID-19 risks

The Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, NAOC, has said false and unverified claims on how it is conducting its operations are irresponsible and they create confusion, tension and instability in a moment in which the country should unite efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Sunday, the company described a report as “malicious publications” against the company, and threatened to sue the writer.

“…at this difficult moment we expressly reserve the right to prosecute whoever disseminates false information about the company’s activities”.

The statement explained that the company had implemented “far reaching” measures to ensure safety of personnel and facilities in its operating and field locations.

It added that prior to the index case in Nigeria and weeks before the Federal or State governments started declaring lockdowns and movement restrictions, Agip had already implemented smart working and “quarantine/isolation at home” with its personnel whereby most of them were directed to stay at home to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

“Sensitization and awareness campaigns on prevention of COVID-19 commenced long before the first case in Nigeria”.

“Prior to the lockdown declared by the Federal Government in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, NAOC popularly known as “Agip” took measures to protect its personnel and facilities from the spread of COVID-19 following World Health Organization, WHO, guidelines and international best practices,” the statement said.

“Crew change, which is necessary to allow personnel take rest and be with their loved ones, were carefully planned to observe all the measures prescribed by all the relevant agencies of government”.

Consequently, NAOC said it also implemented the new crew change of 28 days as advised by Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR and ensured that its personnel observe the thoroughly documented measures including the mandatory 14 days prior to resumption in the operating locations in line with the DPR guide.

In addition to the mandatory isolation, it said rigorous medical screening was also performed before any personnel was allowed to resume in the locations at exit and entry points.

“… all resuming personnel wear appropriate personal protective equipment (including face masks, gloves, etc.) and observe all the necessary measures recommended by our medical personnel which are in line with WHO, NCDC guidelines”.

“Our crew change to Brass is usually by chopper and or boats after fulfilling all health and safety requirements”.

“Our personnel are our most important assets and we will never embark on any activity if all health and safety standards have not been met”.

“As at today our request for approval to fly chopper to remote locations within Rivers State have not been clearly granted and as a law abiding company we continue to operate within the available permits”.

“Our Union is one of the strongest in the industry today and we engage continuously on the issue of prevention of COVID-19 and all other relevant operating challenges at this time”.

“As a responsible Corporate citizen, we are supporting the country’s initiatives to prevent the spread of the virus as well as save lives of the people”, the statement said.