The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, has been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly. The multi-sectoral Coronavirus Preparedness Group, led by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has since activated its national Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures. “I wish to assure all Nigerians that have we have been beefing up our preparedness capabilities since the first confirmation of cases in China, and we will use all the resources made available by the government to respond to this case. “We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria. Please be reminded that most people who become infected may experience only mild illness and recover easily, but it can be more severe in others, particularly the elderly and persons with other underlying chronic illnesses. All Nigerians should take care of their health and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene to protect themselves and others, including their own families, following the precautions below: 1. Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 2. Maintain at least 1 & half metres (5 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. 3. Persons with persistent cough or sneezing should stay home or keep a social distance, but not mix in crowd. 4. Make sure you and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene, meaning cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your sleeve at the bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. 5. Stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing. Please call NCDC toll free number which is available day and night, for guidance- 0800-970000-10. Do not engage in self-medication 6. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19 through official channels on TV and Radio, including the Lagos State Ministry of Health, NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health. Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic. The Federal Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, will continue to provide updates and will initiate all measures required to prevent the spread of any outbreak in Nigeria,” announced Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Hon. Minister of Health. As at the time of filing this article, over 9,000 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria, over 3,000 cases have been discharged and about 300 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, having carried out 48,544 tests. AKWA IBOM COVID-19 INDEX CASES -Dr Otobong Asuquo, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, after recovering from the disease at Ibom Specialty Hospital. As at April 1, 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed 5 cases of the disease in Akwa Ibom State, and Dr Otobong Asuquo, a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was one of the cases. Dr Asuquo, in his detailed account after recovering from the disease at Ibom Specialist Hospital in Uyo, said he received a call immediately from the state COVID-19 team to get set that an ambulance would be coming to pick him. Different thoughts went through his mind: his dear wife, children, and when he saw how others in different parts of the world were passing away, he thought his end was near! At the isolation centre, Dr Asuquo said he enjoyed his stay because of the privacy, the modern facilities, and equipment at the hospital. “You don't know what is happening and who is in the next room. Constant water and light, it's like having the U.S. in Akwa Ibom,” he said in a video chat. He added that he was surprised to know that all the rooms there are equipped with Television sets (with DSTV) and that there's free WIFI for browsing the Internet, which made him stay updated and worked on his personal project. Although he was silent on the treatment he received that led to his recovery in less than two weeks, he was thankful to the state government for a job well done. “I want to give kudos to the Akwa Ibom State Government because I know without them, this wouldn't have been possible and also for the [COVID-19] team.” Akwa Ibom State so far has 35 active cases of the disease, with 2 deaths and 14 recoveries of which Dr Asuquo is one of them.
Following a two-day (August 19-20, 2019) retreat organized for ministerial appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal Executive Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Nigeria’s new cabinet was Wednesday, August 21, inaugurated, with 43 ministers sworn in, having been confirmed earlier by the Senate.
The induction retreat which was packaged to acquaint the appointees with the roadmap for the delivery of government policies, among others, was presided over by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, widespread criticisms have continued to trail the appointment and screening process of the sworn-in ministers, ministers of state and other appointees.
Chief among the issues that sparked a recent controversy was the appointment of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola as Minister of Internal Affairs. Aregbesola, ex-governor of Osun State, has soon after inauguration and assignment of portfolio lamented his stark inexperience in matters of national security which is a critical component of his ministry.
Currently, there is no gainsaying that the issue of security has formed a major cause for concern among the comity of nations across the world, and Nigeria is not left out in this grave predicament, owing to the activities of various dangerously armed and criminal groups in the country.
Though the Buhari Administration seems to score a plus here in the appointment of core South-South sons: Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Barr. Festus Keyamo, and Sen. Ita Enang as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, and SSA on Niger Delta Affairs respectively, keen watchers of the regime are, however, pessimistic over what they describe as the presence of the bulk of old appointees in the new cabinet.
They express fear that the crop of former ministers and other appointees who have found themselves back in the fresh cabinet is likely to engender a recurrence of socio-economic failure palpably felt by the Nigerian populace in the first tenure of the Buhari Administration.
Meanwhile, the seven women on the ministerial list include Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra), Sadiya Farouq (Zamfara), Ambassador Maryam Katagum (Bauchi), Gbemi Saraki (Kwara), Ramatu Tijani (Kogi) and Pauline Tallen (Plateau).
The president has retained himself as Petroleum Minister, while former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva is to serve as Minister of State.
Also appointed is Godswill Akpabio as Niger Delta Minister, Adamu Adamu as Education Minister; Isa Pantami, Communication; and Rotimi Ameachi, Transportation.
The President has also created new ministries such as Ministry of Police Affairs and ministries for humanitarian services.
The full list of ministers and their ministries is below
- President Muhammadu Buhari – Minister of Petroleum
- Mohammed Musa Bello – Adamawa State – Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT
- Godswill Akpabio – Akwa Ibom State – Minister of Niger Delta
- Chris Ngige – Anambra State – Minister Labour and Employment
- Sharon Ikeazor – Anambra State – Minister of Environment
- Adamu Adamu — Bauchi State – Minister of Education
- Ambassador Maryam Katagum – Bauchi State – Minister of State Industry
- Timipre Sylva – Bayelsa State – Minister of State for Petroleum
- George Akume – Benue State – Minister of Special Duties
- Mustapha Baba Shehuri – Borno State – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Goddy Jedy Agba – Cross River State – Minister of State, Power
- Festus Keyamo – Delta State – Minister of State, for Niger Delta
- Ogbonnaya Onu – Ebonyi State – Minister of Science and Technology
- Osagie Ehanire — Edo State – Minister of Health
- Clement Ike – Edo State — Minister of State for Budget
- Richard Adeniyi Adebayo – Ekiti State – Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
- Geoffrey Onyeama – Enugu State – Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Ali Isa Pantami – Gombe State – Minister of Communication
- Emeka Nwajiuba – Imo State – Minister of State for Education
- Suleiman Adamu – Jigawa State – Minister of Water Resources
- Zainab Ahmed – Kaduna State – Minister of Finance
- Muhammad Mahmood – Kaduna State – State Environment
- Sabo Nanono – Kano State – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Bashir Salihi Magashi – Kano State – Minister of Defence
- Hadi Sirika – Katsina State – Minister of Aviation
- Abubakar Malami – Kebbi State – Minister of Justice/Attorney General of the Federation
- Ramatu Tijjani – Kogi State – Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
- Lai Mohammed – Kwara State – Minister of Information and Culture
- Gbemisola Saraki – Kwara State – Minister of State, Transportation
- Babatunde Fashola – Lagos State – Minister of Works and Housing
- Adeleke Mamora – Lagos State – Minister of State for Health
- Mohammed H. Abdullahi – Nasarawa State – Minister of State, Science and Technology
- Zubair Dada – Niger State – Minister of State, Foreign Affairs
- Olamilekan Adegbite – Ogun State – Minister of Mines and Steel Development
- Tayo Alasoadura – Ondo State – Minister of State, Labour and Employment
- Rauf Aregbesola – Osun State – Minister Interior
- Sunday Dare – Oyo State – Minister of Youth and Sports
- Paulen Tallen – Plateau State – Minister of Women Affairs
- Rotimi Amaechi – Rivers State – Minister of Transportation
- Maigari Dingyadi – Sokoto State – Minister of Police Affairs
- Sale Mamman – Taraba State – Minister of Power
- Abubakar D. Aliyu – Yobe State – Minister of State, Works and Housing
- Sadiya Umar Faruk – Zamfara State – Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management
- Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah – Abia State – Minister of State Mines and Steel
Recall that belatedly and quite against popular expectations, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari had dissolved his cabinet only a day prior to his second term inauguration of May 29, 2019 after he bade his federal ministers to continue functioning in their respective portfolios.
While presiding over a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council, PMB had asked his ministers to continue to work till May 28, when he had directed that they should submit their handover reports to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
He had said, “Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, 28 May 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective permanent secretaries.
“Your handover letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”
Mr. President had said that the decision not to dissolve his cabinet since 2015 had been because each of the ministers had their unique skills and strength.
Buhari had said, “Over the past three and a half years, we worked together to deliver our campaign promises. I strongly believe that it is this teamwork that led to the successes recorded during our first term.
“Although we all have a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.
“It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength. We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve. A diverse but tolerant nation, where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.”
He had said the country faced enormous challenges when his administration came on board in 2015, saying the ministers worked hard and scored many achievements.
Buhari had added, “We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.
“Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well-nigh hopeless. However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.”