Thursday, October 21, 2021

N42m elevator procured to health ministry with funds meant for victims of terrorism

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Victims Support Fund’s Taskforce’s on COVID-19 has donated a 13 passenger capacity elevator and UPS equipment valued at over N42 million to the Federal Ministry of Health.

The core mandate of the Victims Support Fund includes Economic empowerment for victims of terrorism (women); educational support for terror-affected and displaced children; psychosocial support for people affected by terrorism and; facilitation of foster programming for children orphaned by terrorism.

Other mandates are support for over-stretched hospitals to provide free treatment to victims of terrorism; critical assessment of state of insurgency in the Nigeria and; socio–Economic analysis of the impact of insurgency on the victims.

But Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, chairperson of the taskforce, at the inauguration of the project on Tuesday, in Abuja, said that the exercise was part of its efforts to support the activities of the Ministry.

Ms Akerele-Ogunsiji noted that the Taskforce, in September 2020, had made an initial donation of ICT equipment and funds to the Ministry to support the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on the National Pandemic Action Plan.

“Technology equipment, state-of-the-art video teleconferencing and surveillance facilities, as well as infrastructure to support data collection and the quality of human capacity within the ministry”, the chairperson said were also donated, bringing “the total value of the donation to the Ministry of Health to N150 million.”

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She also announced the completion of the implementation of the three phases of the VSF Taskforce on COVID-19 Emergency Intervention Programme.

“The intervention involved distribution of food, medical consumables and personal protective equipment (PPE) to 19 states across the six geo-political zones of the country.

“As well as the provision of support and donations to other parastatal agencies and the construction of Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in 54 schools in 18 states, across the six geo-political zones in the country.”

She explained that the VSF Taskforce on COVID-19 was inaugurated by the Chairman of the VSF, retired Lt.-Gen. T Y Danjuma with a mandate to provide palliative measures to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) ”and other vulnerable groups around the country as part of its contribution to national efforts in the fight against COVID-19”.

In his response, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, commended the VSF, saying that the provision of the lift came at a very critical time, promising that the Ministry would make good use of the elevator.

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“It is important to mention that the Victim Support Fund (VSF) has been supporting government efforts at different levels, in various aspects even before COVID-19.

“Particularly, during the response to the protracted humanitarian crisis in the Northeast, VSF supported the Ministry in developing State Specific Operational Plans, in order to provide targeted health responses to crisis affected communities in the Northeast.

“In the same vein, at the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, VSF made commitments to support the health sector in various ways, including support to the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Health Sector Response.

“Support to the secretariat in the development of the Health Sector COVID-19 Pandemic Response Action Plan and also a new elevator which we are commissioning today.

“I must say that the experience of both staff and visitors in navigating this building and attending meetings, especially on the 6th floor, has been hindered by the limited service of the elevator.

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“It is also sometimes even a safety risk when the only working elevator breaks down with passengers.”

He noted that the new elevator would alleviate a lot of inconvenience experienced by the staff of the Ministry.

The minister, therefore, “implored everyone to adopt a maintenance culture and take responsibility for our environment and equipment.

“This elevator belongs to us all and the onus for its maintenance should not be left to the Department of General Services alone.

“We must do our part in keeping it clean and adhering to capacity warnings,” he said.

According to him, this elevator states maximum capacity is 13 persons with a total weight limit of 1000kg, but based on social distancing it is important to limit the capacity to six people.

On behalf of the staff and management of the Ministry and the Federal Government, Mr Ehanire thanked the chairman of the Victim Support Fund, retired General TY Danjuma, and the entire VSF team for their continuous support.

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