Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says all oil workers coming into the state must show their COVID-19 test results before they are allowed in.
In a statement on Monday, Simeon Nwakaudu, media aide to Wike, quoted the governor as saying all waivers earlier granted to oil and gas companies have been reviewed.
The governor said his administration could not abandon residents “to chances”, alleging that some of the cases recorded in the state were flown into Port Harcourt by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom state.
“Given the threat posed to the state by oil and gas company workers, it has reviewed all entry waivers and permits earlier granted to oil and gas companies,” he said.
“From now on, requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies will be considered on a case by case basis;
“All inward-bound vehicles and flights into Rivers State from oil and gas companies with workers for crew change or other essential operations must first submit details of their manifests to the State’s Taskforce on COVID-19 for proper vetting of their virus status before they can be allowed to enter the state.
“All operators of chartered flights into Rivers State for oil and gas operations, especially Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, should please comply with this directive and refrain from jeopardizing the lives of our people for the sake of making profits.
“As a government, we cannot abdicate this compelling responsibility and abandon our people to chances in the midst of this much dreaded and ravaging pandemic.”
Wike had previously ordered the arrest of two Caverton Helicopters pilots and some staff of ExxonMobil for allegedly violating the restriction of movement in the state.
But the oil companies had said the federal government granted them waiver to fly into the state.
So far, Rivers has recorded 14 cases of the disease.
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