‘We should be serious’ — Lawan tackles health ministers over absence at COVID summit



Senate President Ahmad Lawan has berated Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, and Olorunimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, over their absence at a summit on COVID-19.


Mahmuda Mamman, permanent secretary of the ministry of health, was also a no-show at the summit which took place in Abuja on Monday.


While delivering his speech at the summit, Lawan said at least one top official of the ministry ought to have been present.


“Before I begin my remarks, is the permanent secretary ministry of health here? Well, I asked that question because the two ministers of health are not here,” he said.


 “The minister of health, the minister of state, and the permanent secretary are not here. I believe this is not good.


“He (Ehanire) 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.”




Lawan said the emergence of Omicron, a COVID-19 variant of concern, is an indication that the pandemic is not yet over.


Nigeria recorded three cases of the Omicron variant last week.


The senate president said there is a need for a “continuous multi-sectoral” approach to establish a sustainable bio-security framework for Nigeria.


 “The emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus points to the fact that the pandemic is yet to be over, hence, we should not rest our oars in fighting the pandemic,” he said.


“However, our recent experience has also shown that outbreak of diseases affects not only the health sector but also the social – economic sector of the nation. To this end, there is a need for a continuous multisectoral approach that integrates multiple work plans and collaboration to establish a sustainable bio security framework for Nigeria.


“​As we are working towards ending the pandemic and building back a better Nigeria, an all inclusive approach which focuses on addressing issues relating to the economy, health, housing, social security, infrastructure, etc. should be employed.”


The theme of the COVID-19 summit was ‘Pushing Through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better’.

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