President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N5.6 billion for the establishment of oxygen production plants in each of the 36 states of the country and the federal capital territory.
The presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19 had, on Monday, announced that one of its three major areas of focus will be to increase oxygen reserve capacity in case there is a third wave of the pandemic.
Briefing journalists after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by Buhari on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, said the approval followed a presentation by the ministry of health.
“The minister of health presented a memo, which was approved, for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of oxygen production plants and construction of plant houses in each of the 36 states of the federation and Abuja,” Mohammed said.
“The contract was approved in the sum of N5,615,127,479, inclusive of 7.5 percent VAT, in favour of four different companies, with a completion period of 20 weeks.”
He added that the approval was to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made oxygen a very critical commodity.
Buhari had, in January, approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 38 locations nationwide in a bid to enhance the treatment of COVID-19 patients who need oxygen.