The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated presidential task force to monitor the development of COVID- 19 pandemic disease across the country and around the world.
Inaugurating the committee, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, said the composition of the task force would enable Nigeria in its multi-sectoral and intergovernmental approach to the national response.
“Actions taken by governments in different parts of the world point to the fact that COVID -19 constitutes a major threat to humanity and requires that our response must be firm, scientific, methodical and strategic.
”At this point, let me convey the appreciation of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and his team for efficiently rising to the challenge thus far, ” he said.
According to Mustapha, the timeline for the committee is six months to deliberate on the six terms of references given to them.
These include, strengthening the national response strategy, particularly in the areas of testing, containment and management of COVID-19, strengthen collaboration with all tiers of Government, private sector, Faith-Based Organisations, civil societies, donors and partners.
Others were to build awareness among the populace, direct the deployment of any relevant national assets when necessary.
And also to lay a foundation for scientific and medical research to address all emerging infectious diseases and advise government on the declaration of national emergency as part of the containment measures when necessary.
In order to give the activities of the committee proper focus, the SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari had also approved the appointment of a National Coordinator in the person of Dr Sani Aliyu.
According to him, Aliyu will manage the daily process, in collaboration with existing institutions and structures.
“The national coordinator will be responsible for cohesion and efficiency in the roles played by the different agencies, operating in the treatment of the national response strategy, ” he said.
The task force committee chaired by Boss Mustapha had the following members; Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Services.
Others were, Mr Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Adeleke Mamora, Minister of State, Health, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu, Minister of Environment.
The rest were, Yusuf Bichi, Director-General, Department of State Services, Mr Chikwe Thekweazu, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu.
Mustapha assured of the President’s commitment to supporting the committee in ensuring safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians.