Mr Michael Jiang Yigao, the Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited says the 15 Chinese team of Medical Experts that arrived Nigeria on April 8 are with them.
Jiang Yigao said this in an interview with Journalists on Monday in Abuja.
The media and opposition parties has been agog since May 14 with questions and counter questions about the where about of the medical team, following the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire’s comment that the experts were not his guests but CCECC’s.
He also requested that reporters should not bother his ministry over the whereabouts of the Chinese medical experts who came into Nigeria to support the fight against COVID-19.
Mr Ehanire, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, said the medical personnel “are not guests of the federal government but, a construction company”.
Meanwhile Mr. Jiang Yigao in the interview confirmed the experts came into the country “to share their experiences in fighting the COVID-19”.
Abuja Business Reports recall that some Nigerians had kicked against the federal government’s decision to invite the medical experts, saying the country had enough doctors to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) even described the move as “a thing of embarrassment to the membership of the Association and other health workers who are giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under deplorable working conditions.”
However, Mr. Jiang Yigao clarified that the team came specially to help CCECC fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect its numerous employees across the country.
“The team had a telecast meeting with the Minister of Health and some doctors around the country and shared their experience in China on how they’re fighting the virus and the meeting was very positive.
“They are here with us and have continued to teach our staff on how to protect themselves because protection and prevention are more important than the treatment.
“Most of the workers understand the situation now and they know the risk, so they follow the proper procedures, and cooperate with their instructors’’.
He, however said that the medical experts will be heading home as soon as there is a commercial flight to China.
“Right now commercial flight to china is not open yet, but when the flights are open again, we’re considering the team going back to china.
He praised the Nigerian government on how they have been able to contain the pandemic so far.
“In a big country like Nigeria, it can be a bit difficult to control a pandemic because you will have to make all the people of such a large country understand that it is a serious and real thing.
“I think Nigeria is taking this very seriously and you can see it in the implementation of the lockdown, the suspension of international flights etc.
“And like other companies in Nigeria, we will do whatever we can to help the country, like building treatment centres, training people on how to handle the virus.
He said he sees the relationship between Nigeria and China are being strong, therefore the company will want to build on that strong relationship.
“Upon request from the Nigerian government, we gave necessary support, like building treatment centres and at the same time delivered some health related equipment.
“We understand the covid-19 pandemic challenge in Nigeria because we are based here and have a lot of employees and we do believe, that with efforts from the government, from the people we will win this situation.
“I hope the people of Nigeria understand that we need the help of all people across the world to win this fight against coronavirus,’’ he added.
Mr. Jiang Yigao said that CCECC is known for quality and therefore will continue to give quality support to the Nigerian People in all areas.
“CCECC is a Nigerian company based here for nearly forty years, and most of the staff here are Nigerians. So, we have Nigerian voice.
“At CCECC, we have a company standard and we do not compromise as you can see our touch in the airport terminals, Abuja Isolation Centres, Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos rail lines etc.
“You can see our works at the Airport Terminals, they are one of the finest in Africa, we at CCECC will not compromise standards for any price”, he said.