The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently being inaugurated at the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) conference hall in Abuja.
The event commenced around 4:30pm.
In his address, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the task force, said the composition would “enable Nigeria deepen her multi-sectoral and inter-governmental approach to our 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,” he said.
“At this point, let me convey the appreciation of Mr. President to the Honourable Minister of Health and his team for efficiently rising to the challenge thus far. The swiftness in dealing with the index case is globally acknowledged and appreciated. We are very proud of you all.
“Honourable Ministers and Members, the timeline for the activities of this Task Force is six (6) months and it has the following Terms of Reference that will be open for discussion during this meeting: Strengthen 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 Organizations, Civil Societies, Donors and Partners; build awareness among the populace; Direct the deployment of any relevant national assets when necessary; 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.
“We are however expected to report on regular basis to Mr. President. In order to give the activities of the Task Force proper focus, Mr. President also, approved the appointment of a National Coordinator who 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.”
Dr Sani Aliyu will act as the National Coordinator of the task force.
Members include the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Services, Sadiya Umar Farouq; Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
Others are Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu and WHO country Representative.