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Lawan decries absence of ministers, permanent secretary at COVID-19 summit



Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, expressed disappointment over the absence of the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, and the Minister State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora, at a summit on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mahmuda Mamman, was also absent at the summit held in Abuja.

In his address at the summit, Lawan described as unacceptable the absence of the three officials at the forum.

He said: “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.

“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 President Steering Committee on COVID-19 (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.”

READ ALSO: Suspicion among Nigerians, reason for poor leaderships —Lawan

He called for the establishment of a sustainable bio-security framework in Nigeria.

Lawan added: “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.

“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 multi-sectoral approach that integrates multiple work plans and collaboration to establish a sustainable biosecurity 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, and infrastructure should be employed.”

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