Mr Ehanire, his minister of state. Olorunnimbe Mamora and the ministry’s permanent secretary were all absent at the summit which was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 in conjunction with the Senate, to brainstorm on solutions to control the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the nation’s economy.
Mr Lawan said it was wrong for Messrs Ehanire, Mamora, and the permanent secretary to be absent at an interventionist summit designed to support their work.
Mr Lawan said; “Before I begin my remark, is the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health here? Well, I asked that question because the two Ministers of Health are not here, the Minister of Health, the Minister of State and the Permanent Secretary are not here. I believe that is not good.
“Because everything we do here, the Federal Ministry of Health is supposed to be here to garner all the resources that will come out of this.”
He said the PSC is simply an interventionist outfit “and as politicians and political leaders, we are supposed to be very serious and committed to the health of our people.”
The summit, which reviewed the country’s COVID-19 response from February 2020 to November 2021, also sought to identify successes, gaps, as well as lessons learnt in the fight against the disease.
The theme of the summit is; ‘Pushing through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better.”
The summit focused on identifying resources and developing strategies to actualise the country’s commitments towards ending COVID-19 by 31st December 2022.
The summit is expected to, among others, generate an accountability framework for COVID-19 response, synthesize the blueprint for Nigeria’s pandemic recovery and sustainability and articulate actionable recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on the governance structure, resources, and policies needed to end the pandemic in Nigeria by December 31, 2022.
At the summit, Oyewale Tomori, a virologist who was betrayed by emotion and shed tears, said Nigeria will continue to fail in the health sector, except it builds on the foundation of National Health Security.
Mr Tomori said National Health Security must be laid on the foundation of personal health security, warning that the real enemy is not the pandemic but the attitude of Nigerians to health.
“No matter what plans we formulate to respond to pandemics and disaster, we will surely fail, if we do not seriously address the issue of culture and environment,” he said.
The virologist added that; “The real enemies of Nigeria are lack of patriotism, the main destroyer of our nation; self-interest, the burial ground of our national interest; corruption, the executor of our orderly development and shamelessness, the destruction of our national pride.”
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