Fred Ezeh, Abuja
In readiness for action against the dreaded coronavirus, the Federal Government, on Friday, constituted an inter-ministetrial committee that would marshal out response plans against coronavirus.
Though the disease is yet to be imported into Nigeria, the government said the proactive measures is to ensure that no one is taken unaware in event that the disease carrier escapes checks at the entry points into the country.
The committee comprises Ministers Aviation, Agriculture, Police Affairs, Finance, Information and Culture and Health. Representatives were also drawn from Nigeria Ports Authority, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), WHO, USDC and several other relevant agencies.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who briefed journalists after the inaugural meeting of the committee in Abuja, reaffirm the readiness and commitment of committee members to respond to call any time.
He disclosed that committee members had been assigned different roles according to their capabilities and institutional strength to ensure that response we’re properly coordinated.
The minister also disclosed that the Federal Government recently approved the release of N71 million to the Port Health Services Department of Federal Ministry of Health, to help strengthen existing measures for checks.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in his remarks, appreciated the proactive measures taken so far by relevant agencies, assuring that government was committed to any measure that would ensure coordinated response to the disease if it eventually arrives.
He offered to use government-owned media platforms, notably Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) to disseminate awareness messages and drive advocacy campaign to educate Nigerians on the need for proper hygiene and environmental care.