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Malaria: NLNG, US-PMI flag-off net distribution campaign in Bonny

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. Commissions Consulate on Bonny Island

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) and United States President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI), over the weekend, flagged off the distribution of treated mosquito net on Bonny Island as part of plans to make the island Nigeria’s first malaria-free zone.

 

The campaign is part of an implementation plan for the Bonny Island Malaria Elimination Project (BNYMEP) led by NLNG, in collaboration with U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI), the Rivers State Ministry of Health and the Grand Bonny Kingdom. A five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the project was signed in March 2021 by NLNG’s Management and the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

 

Speaking on the campaign, NLNG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Philips Mshelbila, stated that the distribution of treated nets was critical to making Bonny Island malaria-free and commended the US-PMI for donating 273,450 treated nets worth millions of naira.

 

He stated further that since the signing of the MoU in 2021, NLNG and its partners have been working behind the scenes to provide free treatments for pregnant women and children under the age of five, and build the capacity of service delivery staff and community volunteers on a roadmap to achieving shared goals.

“In March 2021, we signed an MoU with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI) to partner with the BNYMEP on this noble venture to offer technical and material support when required. That partnership is running smoothly, and our achievements within given timelines are positive. Our collective vision is to make Bonny Island Nigeria’s first malaria-free zone and a model for Africa. The continuous use of these nets will play a pivotal role in achieving this vision,” he added.

 

He called on the Bonny community to seize the moment and change the narrative on malaria on the island. He added that the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme (BCHIP), a Community-Based Health Insurance initiative sponsored by NLNG in partnership with the Rivers State Government and Bonny Kingdom, continues to provide easy access to treatment.

Malaria remains one of the deadliest diseases globally, and Nigeria still records many casualties.

 

Also, the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), on Saturday, commissioned the Bonny Consulate Building, a 19th-century historic landmark in Bonny Kingdom that was reconstructed as part of plans to boost tourism in the kingdom.

 

The consulate building was the seat of the British colonial administration in 1897, with a district commissioner and other administrative offices. In 2019, NLNG flagged off the construction of the building to restore the memory of the ancient monument.

 

The building accommodates an FM radio station, office for the King of Bonny, a library, museum, café, cinema, conference hall, seminar/exhibition hall, souvenir shop, utilities, and visitors’ centre.

 

The construction is a partnership between NLNG, Julius Berger Nigeria (JBN) and Bonny Kingdom. NLNG funded the procurement of project materials, setting up and equipping all the building sections, including the museum, the radio station, the cinema, and the library, among other sections. JBN undertook the design, site construction, supervision, and provision of equipment while the kingdom provided the parcel of land.

 

The re-construction of the Bonny Consulate Building is part of an NLNG’s initiative to upscale the prominence of Bonny and make it a major investment and tourist destination, diversifying its economy from reliance on oil and gas.

 

During the commissioning, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike (CON), represented by Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said the building was a monument that would sustain the historical and cultural heritage of Bonny Kingdom, adding that the building connotes the past, present and future of the historical island. He stated further that the consulate building was a strong statement by NLNG to help make Bonny Island an investment and tourism destination.

 

In his remarks, NLNG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, said NLNG, as a visionary and responsible corporate citizen, was committed to stimulating a viable Bonny Kingdom. He stated that the consulate building, with its rich history, significance and potential, would propel tourism growth on the island and underscore the economic significance of the kingdom before the advent of oil and gas activities on the island.

 

“The actualisation of the Bonny Consulate Building is a project aimed at a self-sustaining economy in Bonny Kingdom. Other notable projects are the Bonny-Bodo Road, which we are fully funding in partnership with the Federal Government, the NLNG-sponsored Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme (BCHIP) which has enrolled over 8,000 beneficiaries, the ongoing Bonny Malaria Eradication Programme where we are partnering with the United States President’s Malaria Initiative (US-PMI), and our numerous economic empowerment programmes,” he said.

 

NLNG is an incorporated Joint Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V.  (25.6%), TotalEnergies Gaz & Electricité Holdings (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr.l (10.4%).

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