The Nigerian Senate has lacerated the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire and his officials over their absence at a COVID-19 summit organised by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Coronavirus.
Ehanire, Adeleke Mamora – his Minister of State for Health and the Permanent Secretary at the ministry were all conspicuously absent at the summit organised in conjunction with the Senate to brainstorm on solutions to control the COVID-19 pandemic and restore the nation’s economy.
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 learned in the fight against the disease.
With the theme, ‘Pushing through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better’ the summit focused on identifying resources and developing strategies to actualize the country’s international commitments towards ending COVID-19 by 31st December, 2022.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan who was visibly outraged over the absence of the health ministry pilots said it was abnormal that Ehanire, Mamora and the permanent secretary were all absent at an interventionist summit designed to support their work.
“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.
“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.”
Health experts at the summit, in reaction to the Senate President’s observations, lauded him for speaking truth to power.
They alleged that the current leadership at the ministry of health have succeeded in burying the already comatose sector with their incompetence.