By Akanimo Kufre (The New Diplomat’s A/Ibom|C/River Correspondent)
The Cross River’s State government fight to flatten the curve of the COVID 19 pandemic received a boost recently when the state received medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment, PPE from Taiwan.
The representative of Taiwan in Nigeria, Vicent Yang at a brief ceremony held at the grounds of Taipei Trade Office in Ikoyi, Lagos presented the materials to the State Commissioner for Finance Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr. who received it on behalf of the government of Cross River.
Representative Yang while handing over the consignment, emphasized that the donation was coming from Taiwan-Africa Business Association, TABA, which had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, with the Cross River State government last November during the visit to the State by a 13 member TABA delegation from Taiwan.
He stated that in keeping with the spirit and letters of the MOU, members of TABA decided to reach out to Cross River State by donating the medical supplies and PPE for the use of frontline workers in their efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The Diplomat said that this first consignment will be followed soon by another set of donations of vital medical equipment from Taiwan.
In his reaction, Ekpenyong Jr while appreciating the donation and the prospects of receiving more medical equipment in the future, reiterated the need for Taiwan to share its successful strategies in containing the pandemic.
It would be noted that Taiwan has only reported 447 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the number of confirmed cases per million people in Taiwan is 18.8, placing the nation at No.168 out of a total of 187 countries. There have been no new domestic cases in eight weeks and the country has decided to ease domestic restrictions.
Aside from the current assistance to Cross River State, Taiwan has also donated medical PPE to the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.
Recall also that Governor Ben Ayade, while addressing the visiting TABA delegation that visited Cross River in November last year, urged them to take advantage of the Nigerian market, its new tax regime, and available land to invest in the Industrial Park.
Ayade while lauding TABA, said Nigeria’s population of over 200 million provides a viable platform for investors. Ayade had further said
“You are a major exporter and we have the market. You need our market; we need your technology.”
The chairman of TABA, Mr. Jeff Sun had assured Governor Ayade that TABA was open to a partnership that would be of mutual benefit to the group and African collaborators. He revealed that TABA has over one hundred members that remain ready to partner with Cross River State.