ABUJAâ€”Top executives of the Nigerian oil and gas industry have pledged their readiness to support the effective take off of the International Cancer Center (ICCA), Abuja, a non-governmental initiative of the First Lady, Hajia Turai Yarâ€™Adua.
The captains of the industry made this commitment at a lunch meeting organized by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, at the Amphi-Theater of the NNPC Towers, Abuja, to officially present the ICCA initiative to stakeholders in the industry.
Speaking through their umbrella body, the Oil Producers Trade Sector (OPTS), of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the major oil producers said they would give the project their full support as it was a laudable initiative aimed at stemming the cancer scourge that has ravaged the country.
Engineer Charles Ngooka who spoke on behalf of OPTS said, â€œon behalf of OPTS, I can assure you that you have our support. We will table the issue in our meeting next month and get back to the ICCA.â€
On their part, theÂ Â Secretary General of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Femi Olawore, who spoke in similar vein said the major oil marketers were committed to the ideals of the ICCA.
â€œThe ICCA is a worthy cause to support. I can assure you of the commitment of members of MOMAN to support this cause. After our next meeting, the cheques will start rolling in,â€ he said.
A representative of the Depot Owners Association of Nigeria (DAPMA), who spoke on the occasion, assured the ICCA of the associationâ€™s preparedness to support the laudable project.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman said operators in the oil and gas industry have a long history of providing comprehensive diagnostic and curative medical programmes for staff and dependants.
Adding that the First Ladyâ€™s cancer initiative presents an opportunity for the industry to extend what they have been enjoying to the larger society.
In his words, â€œBut we must begin to support initiatives that will help extend the same service to the larger society. The borders of our acreages must not be the boundaries of our minds. It is for this reason that I invite you to join in the fight to check and manage the scourge of cancer in Nigeria,â€ Lukman declared.
Speaking in a similar vein, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Adamu Aliero, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the ICCA, said some of the major industries in the Nigerian economy like the banking sector have indicated their support for the initiative.
He expressed hope that the support from the oil and gas industry, being the engine room of the Nigerian economy, would be enough to take care of 50 per cent of the project.
The ICCA is an initiative of the First Lady, Her Excellency Turai Yarâ€™Adua. It is designed to serve as a world class health facility dedicated to diagnosis, management, research and capacity building in cancer.
The Centre is receiving technical assistance from MD Anderson Cancer Foundation in Huston, USA reputed to be the worldâ€™s biggest cancer centre.