By Mumini AbdulKareem
The much hyped refurbishment of the multimillion naira Kwara State oxygen plant aimed to boost treatment of people that may test positive to the coronavirus pandemic has reportedly suffered serious setback following its breakdown after only two productions since instalment in April.
To this end, the government has been expending several millions of naira to fill the gas deficit occasioned by the collapsed of facility located at the Sobi specialist Hospital.
The refurbishment and subsequent usage of the plant raised some dust in the state following accusation by the present administration that it was deliberately abandoned by the past administration, a claimed that was denied by the former commissioner for Health, Atolagbe Alege and other top appointees of the past governments.
But speaking on the issue last night, a source who was privy to the development, told this medium that the plant has stopped working and no longer producing oxygen.
“The oxygen plant the state government claimed to have refurbished with N68m has stopped working. The plant only produced oxygen twice since installation contrary to what the government showcased to the world.
“Since then, they have been buying oxygen expending millions of taxpayers while the plant is no more functioning. It’s like a white elephant project despite the hoopla and propaganda that went with it”, the source added.
The project to revive the plant was said to have been executed by Air Operation.
Attempt to get the Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Razaq, to speak on the issue was not successful on Sunday as he did not answer several calls to his phone. Also reply to text message sent to him was still been awaited last night.
Governor Abdulrazaq speaking at brief handover ceremony of the facility in April has assured that the revamped facility would bolster the state capabilities to manage COVID-19 patients who might require ventilators for a lifeline.
“This facility comes handy at this time. If for whatever reason any of our patients require oxygen, Kwara does not need to buy oxygen from any private sources or other states. In fact, the plant’s capacity is such that we can sell to private hospitals and some other states, the Governor said.
The plant manager then, Ben Babatunde said the oxygen has 93 per cent purity level and can fill 24 (7mm) oxygen cylinders in one day.
By Mumini AbdulKareem