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COVID-19 summit: Senate President disappointed at absence of health ministers, perm sec

The Sen. President Ahmed Lawan on Monday expressed disappointment at the absence of  the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunimbe Mamora, and the Permanent Secretary, Mahmuda Mamman, for being absent at the National COVID-19 Summit.

The summit is aimed at bringing all stakeholders together to discuss the Theme: “Pushing Through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better”.

According to Lawan, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 is simply an interventionist outfit, hence the ministry of health is meant to be physically present to collate the outcome of the summit.

When told that the minister of health was present earlier, he insisted another senior official should have replaced him to demonstrate the seriousness of the event.

The Senate President who declared the summit opened 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 this is not good”.

When told that Ehanire was present earlier, the Senate President responded that “He just left but somebody should have replaced him. 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. The PSC is simply an interventionist outfit. And as politicians and political leaders, we are supposed to be very serious and committed about the health of our people.”

The sub-themes for the summit are; Leadership and Governance in Pandemic Recovery and Reconstruction.  Nigeria’s Health-Security Framework for Effective Response to Global Health Security Threats.

According to organisers, the summit is an assemblage of key actors in the health, economic, security, and policy-making sectors of the country.

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