By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has been advised to return to the negotiating table to address their outstanding grievances with the federal government for the interest of vulnerable Nigerians.
The outgoing Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Mr. Adulaziz Mashi Abdulahi, made the appeal at his final disengagement as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, and the handing over to the new Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Mamman Mahmuda, on Friday in Abuja.
Before his posting to the FMOH, Mahmuda was Permanent Secretary, office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF).
Mashi appealed that: “I will like to use this medium to call on the striking members of NARD to consider the ethics of their noble profession in rendering essential services to the generality of the Nigerians.
“Our vulnerable population requires a reconsideration of your position in order to mitigate the already heightened tension in the fragile health sector.
“Government will on the other hand do all within the available possibilities to address your aspirations.”
According to Mashi, the health ministry remains focused and committed to creating institutional mechanisms that would foster inclusive and equitable growth and improved health outcomes that would translate into better life expectancy for the Nigeria population.
“While there is room for improvement, the health sector is expected to fare better with additional time and resources.
There is no doubt that our country has achieved a lot in the response to the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The support of the Presidential Task Force now Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has served as a catalyst to the Ministry’s efforts in case management and point of entry pillars, as well as other frantic efforts of relevant agencies of the Ministry such as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, National Agency for Food and Drugs, Administration and Control,” he noted.
Mashi explained that the FMOH had within the period under review recorded significant milestones, improving the health indices of Nigerians and the performance of the health system in the process, all as a result of the purposeful leadership of Mr. President with support from a number of critical stakeholders, state and non-state actors alike.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, commended the retired permanent secretary, describing him as a “Rigorous Public Servant“.
Ehanire explained that the critical nature of work in his office to drive the ministry`s policies in terms of coordination, Abdullahi met the criteria that enabled him as the minister to execute his services at ease.
“I must say that Abdullahi , in the course of the couple of years he has spent in the ministry, discharged his duties credibly and with the best of ability and discretion.
“He exhibited maturity and skills, his interpersonal relationship meant a lot to others who were around him.“