Secretary to the Government of Nigeria and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, says the country needs the cooperation of all and sundry in the fight against the pandemic ravaging the world.
Mustapha said this while receiving donations of volunteer personnel, ambulance, buses and medical equipment, including ventilators, from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency for the fight against coronavirus in Abuja.
The materials donated included ventilators, oxygen concentrators, personal protective equipment, rapid test kits and hand sanitisers, as well as N30m cash.
Commending NIMASA for the gesture, Mustapha advised other organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the agency and support the efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic, so that Nigerians could live their normal lives again.
The SGF said, “I wish to restate that this is a war on Nigeria and the Federal Government, in conjunction with other stakeholders, will continue to do all it takes to win this war, as we are more prepared than ever to ensure we protect the lives of our citizens.
“Let me encourage Nigerians to endure this lockdown order, as it is not intended to trample on their fundamental rights; rather it is to assist government to trace infected persons and curb the spread. In no distant time, we will all go back to our normal lives.”
Speaking at the presentation of the materials, Director-General of NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said the agency was deploying its existing facilities, such as fast intervention vessels, ambulances and buses, among others, to support the efforts of the federal and state governments to solve a national medical emergency that required all hands on deck.
Jamoh praised the government’s proactive steps to contain the pandemic.
He described COVID-19 as a challenge Nigeria must overcome, expressing satisfaction in seeing that the agency’s existing facilities were coming in handy in the attempt to contain the outbreak.
“We at NIMASA have decided to deploy our extant capacities and facilities in the fight against this pandemic. We did not invest new funds in purchasing these ambulances and buses; we simply deployed them to fight this common enemy. COVID-19 is a common enemy and all hands must be on deck to win the war against it at this critical time in the country’s history.
“We have had to re-adjust our priorities to contribute our quota to the urgent need to get Nigeria out of this national emergency,” said the DG, who was represented by the coordinator, Abuja Zonal Office, Zailani Attah.
He added, “I wish to commend the efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and your dexterity in ensuring that Nigeria is totally free from this virus. As a responsible agency, we will continue to support government’s efforts across the board and I am confident that, collectively, we will win this fight with the help of the Almighty.”
NIMASA extended its humanitarian gesture to Anambra State, where it equally donated materials to stop the spread of the pandemic and treat those already infected.
Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, who received the materials on behalf of the state government, commended the management of NIMASA and pledged that the materials would be well utilised.
Among the materials donated were ventilators, oxygen concentrators and hand sanitisers.
NIMASA had recently made similar donations to the Lagos State government at the flag-off of the anti-COVID-19 campaign, which the agency plans to take to the six geopolitical zones of the country. It also pledged that there were handy volunteers from the agency and experts ready to work with the government.