By Zayamu Hassan
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said the planned COVID-19 National Summit will be different from other previous summit held in the country because it is structured to be encompassing with all relevant stakeholders carried along.
Head of Technical Secretariat of the PSC, Dr, Muhammad Mukhtar disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja on Monday.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha, announced that there will be a National COVID-19 Summit that will hold from December 6 – 8 2021, in Abuja.
According to Mukhtar the conference which is with the theme- ‘Pushing through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better,’ is targeted at “review the country’s COVID-19 response from February 2020 to November 2021- to identify successes, gaps, and lessons learnt; identify resources and develop strategies that will actualize the country’s expressed international commitments towards ending COVID-19 by 31st December 2022.
“Develop an Accountability Framework for COVID-19 response and health security in Nigeria; synthesize the blueprint for Nigeria’s pandemic recovery, reconstruction, health security, and sustainability; and articulate actionable recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on the governance structure, resources, and policies needed to end COVID-19 in Nigeria by December 31, 2022, and build back the health system and the economy to better respond to future health-security threats.”
Mukhtar further explained that: “In the summit, all stakeholders, partners and those we are providing services to, will tell us how they are feeling on what we are doing on the implementation of the Presidential Steering Committee and the entire country response.
“Most importantly, is to be able to raise our heads and see clearly and see the horizon and what is the biosafety and biosecurity rating and our plan for the country.
“What do we do at that time when we have another pathogen in the country. Like we say in COVID, it is not only a health issue. We have a full engagement with different key stakeholders. There is going to be a two-hour interaction with the media.”
Speaking on the rationale of the summit, Mukhtar said: “The Summit will go a long way to demonstrate Nigeria’s readiness to action her international commitments, which will bolster the confidence and support of our international development partners in concerted efforts to ambitiously end COVID- 19 pandemic by December 31, 2022.
“Moreover, it will set the tone to strengthen our health system and bio-security architecture to be able to effectively respond to present and future global health security threats.
“Achieving the end of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria by December 31, 2022, as a result of this Summit, will become one of the several monumental legacies that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will bequeath to Nigerians and the global community- which posterity will eternally be grateful to him for.”