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NNPC invents COVID-19 contact-tracing app, others

As part of its contribution to flatten the country’s coronavirus curve, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has invented an application to aid health officials in contacts-tracing of suspected COVID-19 cases.

NNPC added the novel app was part of its sectoral contribution to curbing the spread of the pandemic within its formations, ministries, departments, and agencies of the government.

The corporation disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen by General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Dr. Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Obateru explained that the idea was in line with the Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda of the present leadership of the corporation.

While noting that the new app indicates NNPC’s commitment to continuously deploy Information and Communications Technology (ICT) towards resolving challenges, he said the invention further justify strengthen the corporation’s operational efficiency and accountability.

In the statement, the Group General Manager, Information Technology Division (ITD), Danladi Inuwa, said: “The Contacts-Tracing Solution is ready to be deployed, all the technical testing have been done and the solution is ready to go live.

“Everywhere you go around NNPC locations will be covered by this novel application, which will reveal all information about persons visiting any official. Should there be any medical challenge, the NNPC Medical will be able to track from the information at the database all the contacts and advise properly”.

While stating that the application could also be used by the corporation staff to document their private visitors, the group general manager added that the novel application enables the staff to adjust adequately to the ‘new normal’ way of living to minimize spread of the disease.

Inuwa further said the corporation had also deployed a Sales and Distribution application in the Oil and Gas Secondary Model Portal that would enable marketers to buy petroleum products online.

This, he said, was to minimize human contacts in business transactions at the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a Downstream subsidiary of NNPC, in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the application, known as the Customer Express, would also enable marketers to register, validate, and revalidate their Bulk Purchase Agreements online within a week.

He added that the portal would provide a dashboard that would enable the corporation to track every molecule of products being imported, transported, and sold at every given time.

“The Portal shows what product is in transit in terms of volume, what quantity is in the jetty, what volume has gone into the pipelines, what quantity has gone into NNPC depots, private depots, and refinery depots. So, we have an accurate accounting of every molecule of products that we have in our system,” he added.

Inuwa said already, members of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) are now purchasing products online seamlessly.

He added that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), and other relevant downstream stakeholders are expected to start transacting business on the platform soon.

He stated that an application that can show the volume of stocks in the tanks of all NNPC Retail stations across the country had equally been deployed and the ticketing digitized, affirming that more technological innovations would be deployed in the months ahead.

Inuwa said that despite the recent lockdown in the country, the NNPC business value chains were not affected as the corporation was well-prepared.

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